My brother wants to lose weight fast and one of his friends recommended him laxatives for losing weight fast. But my brother and I don’t know how does taking laxatives make you lose weight.
So I decided to research this topic online and also asked doctors and nutritionists what they think about laxatives for losing weight.
I hope what I found will clear your doubts and confusion regarding laxatives for losing weight. I also answered some other questions related to laxatives which I think you must know before consuming them.
Table of Contents
How Does Taking Laxatives Make You Lose Weight?
How does taking laxatives make you lose weight? Laxatives are medicine that absorbs water from your intestines, stool and leads to weight loss but the weight you lose is not fat. laxatives are mainly used for treating constipation, In terms of effectiveness and safety, it is not recommended for losing weight.
Here is a point to be noted that you lose water weight, not fat. So as you start drinking water and other liquids your weight increases gradually.
Doctors are not recommended laxatives for weight loss because it is not safe.
According to Pubmed research, Some people mistakenly believe that consuming laxatives will prevent their body from absorbing calories but it is an ineffective and unsafe way.
Laxatives are used to treat constipation by softening the stool or stimulating bowel movements but some people assume that passing more stools will lead to weight loss, that is not true because stool is just a waste of the body not fat.
Currently, there is no research and studies which show positive results of laxatives for long-term weight loss.
Do Laxatives Help You Lose Weight?
Do laxatives help you lose weight? Yes, it works but the results you see are short-term, not long term weight loss because laxatives help to lose water weight only not fat. Unfortunately, nowadays people use laxatives for fast results but it’s not an effective way to lose weight plus it is also a dangerous medication if you use it for weight loss.
Are Laxatives Medication Processes Dangerous for Weight Loss?
Are Laxative medication processes dangerous for weight loss? Yes, Laxatives are medications that are dangerous for losing weight because frequent consumption of laxatives leads to dehydration, liver damage, kidney failure, electrolyte Imbalance, and addiction to laxatives. It can also damage your intestine when consuming it for the long term.
There is a misconception about laxatives that it can burn fat from your body and reduce weight but the actual reality is different because it only reduces water weight and when you drink liquids after that your body shape comes in the same as it was earlier.
Side Effects Associated with Laxative Abuse
There are many serious side effects associated with laxative abuse that is why it is important to consume laxatives under a good doctor’s supervision. Here are some side effects related to laxative abuse.
1. Addiction of Laxatives
After consuming laxatives for a period of time, the body starts addicted to moving stool through the body. People become both physically and psychologically dependent on laxatives, more quickly than they realize.
The main purpose of laxatives is used to treat constipation, but overdoses of laxatives can cause constipation to worsen. Laxatives are a medication that works by artificially irritating or stimulating the nerves in the large intestine. The stimulation makes the intestinal muscles contract and easy to move the stool out of the body. But when taking laxatives for too long or taking high doses, it can damage the nerves.
3. Combination of Constipation, Gas and Diarrhea
Laxatives collect gas in the intestines, which leads to feeling full and bloated. This can cause treating those symptoms with more laxatives, setting up a vicious cycle.
Laxatives don’t help to lose fat, but they do lose water from your body. When too much water is lost in diarrhea because of laxative abuse, you may become dehydrated. Dehydration puts stress on your organs and can be fatal if not treated frequently.
Symptoms include bad breathing, decreased urination, thirst, light-headedness, headache, dry mouth, diminished sweating, weakness, and fatigue.
5. Electrolyte Abnormalities
Electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and chloride are lost at abnormally high rates in diarrhea. This can lead to irregular heartbeats, weakness, and sudden death.
6. Long-term Medical Consequences
The body’s habitual use of laxatives can lead to long-term medical issues. In the long run, your body stops naturally eliminating waste and it is mandatory taking laxatives for creating an artificial bowel movement.
A human body’s intestine is coated with a thin protective layer of mucus, which protects the walls of the intestine from irritation, plus intestines contain healthy bacteria which is necessary for our immune function and overall health.
By consuming laxatives for a long time it can strip away these bacteria and the layer of mucus, leaving the intestines vulnerable to infection.
According to some studies, taking laxatives for a long time can increase the risk of colon cancer.
8. Impaired Intestinal Function
After consuming heavy and long-term laxatives, the intestine loses the normal muscle functioning and nerve response due to which it no longer contracts to flush stool normally. This stage is called the lazy colon, which means the colon no longer flushes waste efficiently.
Instead, stool stores in the intestines for far longer than normal. Laxative abuse is also known as irritable bowel syndrome.
The worst cases can be seen like weeks without having a bowel movement. This can cause serious physical symptoms such as bloating and cramps as well as emotional symptoms such as irritability, shame, and anxiety. These issues can be cured but recovery may be a slow process.
Can Taking Laxatives Everyday Make Me Lose Weight Faster?
Can taking laxatives every day make me lose weight faster? Consuming laxatives every day may loss weight but taking laxatives everyday causes long-term and serious permanent damage to the digestive system, plus damage to the muscles of the colon and nerves. It is only recommended occasionally to treat constipation not for losing weight.
According to a study of journal Pediatrics, In the United States around 13,600 people, ages 14 to 25 found that by age 22 to 25, 10.5% of females admitted that they were using laxatives in the past years to lose weight as compared to males, there is no laxative consumption found.
Why are Laxatives Popular to Lose Weight?
Why are laxatives popular for weight loss? Due to effective advertising people think that laxatives can help in weight loss but the reality is it damages your intestine and disturbs your bowel movement. Laxatives give a short term water weight loss not burning fat and calories.
Laxatives are mainly popular in teenagers who just blindly believe in advertising. The bad thing is you don’t need any prescription to buy laxatives. You can get it from any medical store. They come in the form of liquids, tablets, powder, and other forms.
Due to a lack of patience, people are consumed for fast results but the results are not quite good for the long term and it is temporary weight loss.
According to Matej Mikulic (Research expert covering health, pharma & Medtech), Statistics shows over the counter revenue of laxatives in the United States in 2019 is reached around 1.49 billion U.S. dollars. In 2020 it goes higher and higher.
Ranjan Singh is a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, founder of Weight Loss Guider and Health Blogger with a Passion for Functional Nutrition. Ranjan is always willing to roll up his sleeves and research the really hard topics and for that, we are all thankful.