Can Laxatives Help Lose Weight?
Losing weight is one of the top concerns — or, more accurately, one of the top struggles — for countless individuals across the globe.
While there has been a heightened awareness of the health risks of becoming overweight or obese, people going through weight loss journeys will tell you that the whole endeavor can be quite tedious and difficult.
While the desire to achieve a healthier, fitter body is there, some find that there are just too many obstacles (like the abundance and availability of tasty yet unhealthy processed or fast foods, the difficulty of regularly performing physical exercises, or the allure of sitting down for long periods every day at work or while using computers and mobile gadgets) that cause their resolve to weaken and derail their efforts to truly lose the excess weight.
As a result, many choose to turn to products that promise quick-fix results. You’ll notice, for example, that there are a lot of pills, beverages, or treatments touted as being the only solution one will need to finally lose weight.
In some cases, there are also products that people use to aid their weight lose efforts, even when that product’s purpose is entirely different. A laxative is one such example.
What are laxatives?
A laxative is a type of medicine that is used to treat constipation; if you are having trouble going to the bathroom, this medicine can help you empty your bowels.
But even if they are available over the counter, it’s still advisable to consult a doctor or carefully read the patient information that comes with laxatives to figure out if a specific type is safe for you to use.
There are four common types of laxatives used:
osmotic (which makes stools softer by increasing water inside your bowels);
stimulant (which stimulates the muscles lining your digestive tract to speed up bowel movements);
bulk-forming (which causes your stools to retain fluid the same way that dietary fiber does, so the bulk of your stools increase);
and stool softener (which adds water to stools to help them pass easier).
Why are some people taking laxatives to lose weight?
Because laxatives are intended to help a person’s bowel movements, one may erroneously think that laxatives rush food through the bowels before the body can absorb it — in this line of thinking, a person might believe that she can eat as much or as little food as she wants, and that taking a laxative would push the food out of the body before it is stored in the body as fat.
However, health experts are quick to point out that this is just a myth.
By the time laxatives begin working on the large intestine, most of the food you eat will have already been absorbed by the body.
If there is any “weight loss” observed by people taking laxatives for this purpose, “water weight” is the only thing that you lose — not calories, food or fat, but actually water, electrolytes, minerals, and wastes from the colon.
As soon as you drink something, the “weight” you thought you lost returns.
If you continue taking laxatives in this manner, your body will become dehydrated and you put stress on your internal organs.
Over time, you sustain imbalanced minerals and electrolytes, and your colon will begin responding only to larger and larger amounts of laxatives.
And if you become extremely dehydrated, death is very possible.
Before you think “can laxatives help lose weight?” and consider using this medicine as your easy solution for attaining an ideal weight, read up on information on this practice from qualified health professionals and direct your sights instead toward safer, more recommended weight loss practices like eating better and getting enough exercise — they may entail much hard work and willpower, but they’re sure to be more effective, with safe and lasting results.