It is possible to become too dependent upon laxatives in order to achieve bowel movements; the bowels relax with repeated use of laxatives and constipation worsens.
Some types of laxatives
cause a staining of the bowel walls and some doctors believe overuse of these types can lead to colon
cancer. There can be problems with heart rhythm due to loss of fluids and electrolytes
in very severe cases (where someone is taking laxatives multiple times each day), and severe weight loss can occur as well. Regular use of some laxatives (Correctol, Ex-Lax, Feen-a-Mint) may interfere with your body's absorption of vitamin D
; this can weaken the bones.