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Are lax­a­tives safe to use long-term? I’m prone to con­sti­pa­tion and it’s the only way I get a daily clear-out. Dara, Bur­ton upon Trent Peo­ple dif­fer in how of­ten they poo. If your tran­sit time (the num­ber of hours food takes to travel through you) is a bit longer, you may only poo once or twice a week. You want a firm, soft poo that slips out eas­ily, not rab­bit drop­pings. Lax­a­tives can make your bowel slug­gish, so it’s health­ier to switch to a high-fi­bre diet and drink lots of water. To check your tran­sit time, eat sweet­corn and note when it reap­pears in your poo. Any­thing from 12 to 48 hours is nor­mal.

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