While it might not be for dinner conversation appropriate, the big “c” word is something everyone wants to avoid: constipation. Let’s just get cozy with that for a moment because we’re going to be talking about how to avoid it without those nasty boxes and bottles of chemical-based solutions known as laxatives. Chemical laxatives account for one of the most profitable OTC drugs of all types. In fact, constipation is the leading type of gastrointestinal complaints in the United States, and laxatives are prescribed and promoted by medical organizations everywhere. When you’re in pain from any type of stomach ailment, you’ll do anything fast and quick to get relief. But chemical laxatives come with a major cost. It’s important to know how the gastrointestinal system works in order to understand why they’re not only harmful, but also ineffective and can even worsen the condition.