A lot of dieters use laxatives for weight loss. Well, basically, laxatives are bowel movement stimulants. Some people who want to lose weight sometimes use it in order to speed up the movement of the foods they eat, thus preventing the calories absorption. Even though this might work in losing weight, its overdoing and continuous use may cause some serious health conditions. Therefore, if you want to try laxatives for weight loss, you must know what you are getting into. This article will tackle the different kinds of laxatives, their side effects, and how much weight you can lose by using them.
Laxatives; What are these?
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Laxatives are chemical or herbal medicines, which help in loosening the stool and improving the bowel movement. Commonly, specialists to those who are suffering from constipation prescribe them. As a matter of fact, laxatives are beneficial in adding bulk to the stool and help in pushing the waste out of the digestive tract.
Moreover, laxatives are drugs, specially designed to relieve constipation through loosening the stools or inducing the bowel movement. Some of the laxatives are also valuable before any bowel examinations and procedures. Additionally, laxative comes in various forms, including enemas, suppositories, gums, foods, liquids, capsules, and even in pills.
Most of these laxatives are intended for short-term use only.
Types of Laxatives
Here are the different types of laxatives:
- Emollient laxatives or stool softeners. As its name implies, they are essential in softening the stool. Generally, they are recommendable for those who are recovering from surgery, or even with those women who have just given birth.
- Guanylate Cyclase C antagonist laxatives. These kinds of laxatives may increase the amount of water in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stimulant laxatives. These types of laxatives are essential in stimulating the digestive tract’s lining in order to help in excreting the stool out of the body.
- Lubricant laxatives. These kinds of laxatives contain mineral oil, as one of their main components, which makes the stool more slippery and easier to pass.
- Osmotic laxatives. These are actually chemical hydrating agents, which draw water in the intestine, thus softening the stool.
- Fiber or bulk-forming laxatives. The fiber laxatives are recommendable by doctors and specialists for the slow transit of cramping, bloating, and constipation. They also absorb water and even add a bulk in the stool.
As you may notice, there is nothing in the aforementioned types of laxatives that are recommended for weight loss. However, why do weight watchers still use laxatives for weight loss? Are they really beneficial? Continue reading on.
Laxatives for Weight Loss: Is it really beneficial?
The answer –NO.
Laxatives for weight loss is just a hoax. As a matter of fact, laxatives are meant to just help people in getting relief from constipation. Nevertheless, there is why many uses still abuse laxatives in the hopes of losing weight.
Laxatives tend to speed up the movement of the consumed foods in the small intestines. We know that the small intestines are where all of the nutrients get absorbed. In case the nutrients are absorbed appropriately, the body then absorbs much fewer calories. Nevertheless, will it be beneficial in losing weight? Absolutely not. You can lose water weight but not the fats. Even after losing 1 to 2 pounds, your own weight loss journey will halt.
Nonetheless, you may keep on using laxatives for weight loss, yet it will just harm your health. Furthermore, there are no scientific studies, which tells that the laxatives are really beneficial in losing weight. However, people who have eating conditions use them in losing weight and look some other ways. This is not a healthy practice, and the abuse of the consumption of laxative may further deteriorate the physical and the mental health.
Here are some things that you need to know before you use laxatives for weight loss:
- There are different types of laxatives
- Laxatives are not designed to lose weight
- The laxatives don’t help in losing weight
- Laxatives must not be used for a long period of time
Side Effects of Laxatives
So what may happen when you use laxatives for a long period of time? Here are the possible side effects of the prolonged usage of laxatives to lose weight:
- Due to the fact that laxatives don’t really help in losing fat, you are not going to lose weight. Therefore, this may trigger depression and even obsessive-compulsive actions.
- Liver damage. Taking excessive amounts of chemical tablets may not be good for the liver. The excessive use of herbal laxatives may lead to liver conditions.
- This is due to muscle death and severe injury. The use of laxatives for a long period may lead to muscle loss, muscle death, and muscle weakness.
- Gastrointestinal tract damage. The long-term usage of laxatives for losing weight may irritate the lining of the GI tract. This may lead to loss of function and inflammation.
- Kidney failure. The constant use of laxatives may cause the kidney to work 24 hours. This may cause the kidneys to become weak.
- This is one of the first side effects of using laxatives in losing weight. If you are dehydrated, your cell function may slow down, the brain function may take nosedive, and the metabolic rate may go down.