What Are the Bad Side Effects of Laxatives?


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Serious side effects of laxatives include blood in the stools, severe stomach cramps and bleeding from the rectum, according to Mayo Clinic. Laxatives may also interfere with blood thinning medications and antibiotics. Excessive laxative use can hinder colon contractions, which can lead to increased constipation.

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Additional potentially dangerous side effects of laxatives include decreased potassium levels in the blood, imbalanced sodium levels in the body and increased urine proteins, explains WebMD. Laxative use may also cause skin inflammation, rash and bloody urine.

Laxatives can cause uncomfortable side effects, such as diarrhea, queasiness and vomiting, explains the Consumer Health Information Corporation. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which in turn can cause blood pressure imbalances, rapid heart rate and faintness. Pregnant women should not take oral laxatives that contain stimulants, as the medications can trigger early labor.

Overuse of stimulant laxatives can lead to dependence and can also cause nerve damage in the large intestine. Natural alternatives to stimulant laxatives include high-fiber foods, such as vegetables and flax seeds. Implementing organic psyllium and probiotics into the diet may also help to regulate bowel movements. Regular daily exercise is essential in fighting constipation because the activity helps to increase circulation and vitalize the intestines, allowing for healthy elimination.

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