(HealthDay News) -- People who don't drink enough liquids or eat enough natural fiber may be more prone to constipation and laxative abuse.
Those with eating disorders also may be at higher risk of taking too many laxatives.
According to the Baystate Health System of New England, laxative abuse is dangerous and can cause damage to the muscular functions of the bowel. The practice can also affect the body's electrolyte system and its ability to absorb some medications.
There are natural alternatives to laxatives, such as drinking more water, eating more vegetables and grains, going to the bathroom when you feel the urge, and exercising regularly. Check with your doctor to determine what kinds of laxatives are safe and how often they should be used.