Should You Use Or Avoid Laxatives For Weight Loss

Laxatives essentially stimulate bowel movements. But since laxatives appear to hasten the passage of the digested food through the digestive tract and stop the absorption of calories, many dieters take them to lose weight. But do laxatives cause weight loss? While laxatives may aid in weight reduction, frequent or prolonged usage might have a detrimental effect on one’s health. As a result, if you’re thinking about using laxatives to lose weight, you need to be aware of the risks.

What Are Laxatives?

Laxatives are natural or synthetic medications that aid in bowel movement improvement and stool lubrication. The American Gastroenterological Association states that doctors frequently recommend laxatives to patients who are experiencing constipation.

Laxatives Aid Weight Loss?

Laxatives don’t help you lose weight. They are intended to aid in relieving constipation. But here’s the rationale behind why so many individuals misuse laxatives.

Laxatives hasten the passage of the food that has been digested in the small intestine. All nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. Additionally, the body takes in less calories when nutrients are not well digested. But can this assist you in shedding excess weight and achieving a toned physique and a sound mind? No. You could lose weight, but it won’t be fat. Your weight reduction will halt once you have lost 1 to 2 pounds.

If you want to drop additional weight, you can keep using laxatives, but doing so will be bad for your health. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support the usefulness of laxatives in helping people lose weight. Yet individuals with eating problems take laxatives to reduce weight and achieve a particular appearance. This is a harmful habit, and abusing laxatives only makes your physical and mental health worse.

Types Of Laxatives

Emollient Laxatives or Stool Softeners

These aid in softening the stool and are typically advised for those recuperating from surgery or new mothers.

Guanylate Cyckase-C Agonist Laxatives

These result in the GI tract containing more water.

Stimulant Laxatives

These laxatives cause the digestive tract’s lining to contract, which aids in eliminating feces from the body.

Lubricant Laxatives

These laxatives have mineral oil as one of its ingredients, which makes the stool slick and simple to pass.

Osmotic Laxatives

These hydrating chemicals soften the feces by bringing water into the colon.

Bulk Forming Or Fiber Laxatives

Natural sources of fiber include husk, vegetables, fruits, and others. Doctors advise using a fiber laxative for bloating, cramps, and sluggish transit constipation. These laxatives increase volume to the stool by absorbing water.

You Need To Know Before Using Laxatives For Weight Loss

  • Use of laxatives should not be prolonged: For one to two days, use it if you have constipation.
  • Laxatives Don’t Help You Lose Weight: You will just shed the initial water weight. You won’t increase your lean muscle mass or reduce your body fat.
  • Laxatives Aren’t Designed to Help You Lose Weight Laxatives are intended to aid those who experience severe or recurrent constipation. They provide constipation relief and aid in stool flushing.
  • There Are Many Different Laxatives: As mentioned above, there are many laxatives that assist remove toxins from your digestive tract in various ways. Therefore, to choose the laxative that is suitable for you, see your doctor.

Side Effects


You won’t lose weight once you shed the initial water weight because laxatives don’t genuinely assist you in losing the fat. Depression and obsessive-compulsive behaviors might result from this.

Liver Damage

Taking an excessive amount of chemical pills is bad for your liver. Taking herbal laxatives frequently enough might harm the liver. More study is, however, required in this area.

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Serious damage and muscle death result in rhabdomyolysis. Laxative use for days at a time to reduce weight might result in muscular wasting, weakness, and even death. This might result in an excess of toxic protein entering the circulation, which would cause additional issues.

GI Tract Damage

Laxative usage for an extended period of time may irritate the GI tract lining, resulting in inflammation and functional loss.

Kidney Failure

Laxative abuse might result in kidney or renal problems. If that occurs, your kidneys may eventually weaken and stop functioning.

Electrolyte Imbalance

Electrolytes are crucial for healthy cell division, signaling, and other cellular processes. Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, and magnesium are the primary electrolytes. If you use laxatives and have headache, muscular soreness, weakness, or heart palpitations, stop taking them right once and see a doctor. Excessive use of laxatives causes an electrolyte imbalance that can affect the cardiovascular and renal systems.


Dehydration is one of the earliest side effects of laxative abuse. Most laxatives tend to suck water from the surrounding tissue into the digestive tract to soften the stool, which causes dehydration. Your metabolic rate will slow down and your cognitive function will be impaired if you are dehydrated.

Bottom Line

The secret to shedding extra weight without resorting to diets or crazy drugs is to eat mindfully. Laxatives are prescribed for those who experience persistent constipation. They do not stop calorie absorption and are not the best for losing weight. They may then lead to more ailments and health issues. Take care of yourself, therefore. The use of laxatives to lose weight is not advised.

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