Do Laxatives Help You Lose Weight?
You may have heard of someone using laxatives to lose weight. I’ve seen women pile up bottles upon bottles of laxatives in their cart at the grocery store. You can usually tell they’re using it to try to lose weight—not because of the sheer volume but because some look a little sickly.
It’s not a weight loss solution, or a safe approach. You may already know that, but dd you know if you use laxatives too long, it can be dangerous?
Let’s go over if and how laxatives help you lose weight, what kind of weight, and the side effects of using laxatives to help you lose weight.
Do Laxatives Help You Lose Weight: Not Fat
Laxatives help you evacuate stool. Not fat. It doesn’t call on your bulging fat cells and get rid of it. It gets rid of feces and water.
Effect your cardiovascular and renal systems which can be life threatening.
Do Laxatives Help You Lose Weight? Types of Laxatives.
The most abused laxative types are stimulants. They stimulate your bowel which causes you to evacuate. They can induce cramps and sweating during the process.
Stool softeners draw water into your stool from your intestines and GI tract. When it has water, it can more easily pass through your intestines.
Fiber laxatives add fiber to your stool to help you go.
Enemas require that you insert the liquid into your intestines through your rectum, which softens the stool and compels a bowel movement.
So, what weight are you losing? Water and stool.
Even if you like the small drop on the scale, your body eventually gets used to the stimulant laxatives, and you might develop chronic constipation as it stops responding. That can add pounds back on the scale.
Do Laxatives Help You Lose Weight? Side Effects of Laxatives.
Besides potentially causing you to gain weight by compelling chronic constipation, laxatives also:
- Irritate your intestinal lining
- Cause gastrointestinal issues
- Affect your blood pressure
- Cause kidney damage
- Cause cardiovascular damage
- Cause dehydration
- Negatively impact electrolyte balance
- Are life threatening when chronically abused.
This isn’t to scare off those using laxatives infrequently to tackle constipation. It’s to warn those who think laxatives help you lose weight. They don’t and they can add a lot more problems to your list if you use them for that purpose.
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