Dangers From the Misuse of Laxatives

  • Post category:Gut Health

Laxatives are a common type of medication used for constipation. They work by softening stools and/or stimulating bowel movements. Since most laxatives are available over-the-counter, some people use them often for convenient relief from constipation.  

While laxatives are widely considered safe, they’re not intended for frequent or long-term use. There are several possible dangers of laxative misuse, including an increased risk of dementia, according to a new study from UK Biobank. 

Consistent Laxative Use May Increase Dementia Risk

A study conducted at the UK Biobank found that older adults who regularly take laxatives could have a 51% higher risk of developing dementia compared to people who don’t use them. The study included 502,229 participants aged 40 to 69 with no history of dementia. 

Of study participants who reported taking laxatives “most days of the week” over the past four weeks, 1.3% had developed certain types of dementia (all-cause or vascular) within 9.8 years. Just 0.4% of participants who didn’t take laxatives developed the same condition. 

The study also found that osmotic laxatives, which work by drawing water into the stool to soften it, had a stronger link to dementia risk than stimulant laxatives. Stimulant laxatives work by stimulating bowel muscle contractions.  

Other Risks of Laxative Misuse

Other possible risks of laxative misuse include:

  • Extreme dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance 
  • Kidney damage
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colon cancer

Limiting Laxatives Use

Natural constipation remedies can help reduce your reliance on laxatives. Drinking more water, eating more fiber, and exercising regularly can help prevent constipation. Additionally, if you’re experiencing constipation, certain foods and drinks may help stimulate bowel movements. These include coffee, prunes, dried apricots, and oatmeal, among other high-fiber foods. 

Colon hydrotherapy is another natural solution for constipation that can help you avoid the risks of laxatives. It uses triple-filtered, purified water to stimulate peristalsis and safely cleanse the colon. 

Contact Body Flow Wellness to learn more about our Angel of Water colon hydrotherapy treatment and how it could work for you.