10 doctors weighed in:
Is taking a lot of laxatives dangerous?
10 doctors weighed in

Nicole Bressler
Emergency Medicine
7 doctors agree
In brief: Yes!
Laxatives should only be taken under doctor supervision.
Some directly irritate your colon to contract to remove stool and can lead to depending on them for a bowel movement. Others work by removing water from your body & put it into your colon to "flush" the stool out. Both can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance if taken improperly. See your dr if you are having constipation.

In brief: Yes!
Laxatives should only be taken under doctor supervision.
Some directly irritate your colon to contract to remove stool and can lead to depending on them for a bowel movement. Others work by removing water from your body & put it into your colon to "flush" the stool out. Both can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance if taken improperly. See your dr if you are having constipation.
Nicole Bressler
Nicole Bressler
Answer assisted by Nicole Bressler, Medical Student
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1 comment
Dr. Martin Raff
Constipation is not normal. Although it may be related to diet it can also be a manifestation of a variety of other diseases (e.g. hypothyroidism) and you should undergo an evaluation for causes before self-treatment with laxatives.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Oh yes...
Before you contemplate long term laxative dependency, seek medical evaluation--rule out metabolic causes of constipation (e.
g. Low thyroid or adrenal conditions), distinguish slow versus normal transit constipation, consider a primary rectal dysfunction that may be treatable with biofeedback, check for structural pathology or extrinsic impingement, or intermittent ileus (e.g. Pseudo-obstruction).

In brief: Oh yes...
Before you contemplate long term laxative dependency, seek medical evaluation--rule out metabolic causes of constipation (e.
g. Low thyroid or adrenal conditions), distinguish slow versus normal transit constipation, consider a primary rectal dysfunction that may be treatable with biofeedback, check for structural pathology or extrinsic impingement, or intermittent ileus (e.g. Pseudo-obstruction).
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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