According to scientific research, close to 35 % of the world population is obese or overweight. This is worsened by the hectic work schedule in this generation that forces people to eat out rather than a home-made meal.  About 10.5 % of American women within the age range of 23-25 years have tried losing weight with a laxative, at least once in their life (New York Times). This describes the popularity of this weight loss pill. If you are reading this post now, it means you are either laxatives or want to know its effect on your health and weight loss. Keep reading to understand how it affects your health and does it help in losing weight?

Losing weight is the latest fitness trend among millennials and fitness enthusiasts.  All over the internet and social media, there is much bogus information about miracle tips and diets to lose weight rapidly, with minimum or no effort. There are different medications such as diuretics, laxatives, and fat burner used for shedding the excess pounds and eliminating those love handles.

Before we start talking about losing weight, we need to understand the physiology of digestion and weight gain. The body breaks down the classes of foods into smaller molecules for absorption and storing the excess nutrients in different depots in the body.  Carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water are the main classes of food known to man. Digestions start to form the mouth when you begin munching that your favorite dish and drink.  Carbohydrates, protein, and fats are converted into glucose, peptides, and lipids respectively. The body utilizes these nutrients for day t0 day metabolic processes and maintenance of vital organs.

Excess blood glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells, or as fats in specific parts of the body such as lower abdomen and thigh. The next time you grab that box of pizza or favorite fast food menu, remember, it is more likely to end up in your lower abdomen.  The most important factor responsible for weight gain is an excessive calorie. Most people eat more than they burn leading to excessive weight gain.  The presence of at least 1 fast food around every district makes weight loss more difficult. The best way to lose weight is restricted calorie intake. And eating less than you burn. However, several medications help in losing weight by reducing the quantity of food absorbed from the excess calorie or increasing the amount excreted.

A laxative is a type of drugs popularly used for weight loss; it helps in reducing the number of nutrients absorbed from food. However, there are a lot of complications linked with excessive laxative usage. Laxative’s primary purpose is for treating constipation and indigestion. They stimulate bowel movement and help in loosening hardened stools. Taking too many laxatives, either for medicinal use, fitness, occupational, or weight loss could cause a lot of hazardous effects on your body.

How Do Laxatives Help in Weight Loss?

This is the most frequently asked question by laxative users, they all want to know how it works and assists in weight loss. Laxatives increase bowel movement by drawing water from the colon to form a bulk stool; the bulk stool is natural for defecation. They help in improving bowel movement by absorbing water into the stool; this leads to more comfortable defecation. There are numerous myths, and beliefs people have about losing weight with laxative such as:

  1. Fat loss: Interestingly, some people think that laxatives eliminate and push their love handles and fat out of their body. The truth is No; it does n’t, it only makes your poop more watery and bulky, it isn’t a miracle drug or magical pill that pushes your fat out as soon as you use
  2. Eating Less:  There are some other sets of people that believe that since laxative works by absorbing water, it could create a sense of satiety for the users, this increased satiety and feeling of fullness causes reduced appetite and weight loss.

The truth is that laxative only helps in losing a maximum of 1 or 2lb when you use them; the human body is a very adaptive organism that adapts to changes. Your body returns to normal after some few weeks, and you gain the weight back. Majority of the laxative –induced weight loss is water weight and not the actual excessive fat you want to eliminate.

How do Laxatives Affect my Health?

Consuming laxatives may seem like a favorite quick and hassle free solution to obesity and weight gain.  Moreover, as beneficial as it sounds, prolonged laxative use could be harmful to your health. The weight loss achieved by using laxatives is not sustainable. Most people go back to their original weight with time.

The mechanism of action of laxatives is water retention and absorption. Laxatives reduce the transit period of foods and causes impaired or decreased absorption of vital nutrients. Our vital organs need these essential nutrients for the maintenance. When the body does not receive the optimal nutrients required for survival, it takes a toll on our health status and functionality.

Prolonged consumption of laxatives can cause hypovitaminosis dies to reduced absorption of vital nutrients. Over an extended period, you start feeling weaker and different diseases and health complications start cropping up due to lowered nutrient absorption. The question is, is this worth doing, all for rapid weight loss?

4 Things you need to know about laxatives

Before you start your fitness journey or laxative induced-weight loss, it would be a plus, if you a lot of the pill you are planning to use.  Laxatives are common medications for weight loss; they have unique characteristics and mechanism of actions. Below is some vital information about laxatives we all need to know:

  1. Different Types and Varieties: There are different types of laxatives sold in the market for numerous functions. Before purchasing a particular type, find out form your medical doctor, if it fits your goal and health status
  2. Weight Loss is a Lie: laxative eliminates water fat, not the excess pounds on your body.  You might see the scale go down for a while, but it takes more than excess poop to lose fat
  3. Duration: Most laxatives are intended for short-term use excluding bulk-forming laxative, which is safer for chronic use.
  4. Side Effects: prolonged usage of laxatives can harm your health and cause numerous side effects.

The bottom line, the side effects, and dangers of laxatives outweighs it’s temporary weight loss. This is not a valid technique for weight loss. The combination of a proper diet and active lifestyle consistently can help you lose weight without complications.


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