Want to shed a couple of pounds? We below ya. But you gotta keep it healthy. Some weight loss techniques are unproven or simply plain risky, consisting of laxatives.

You are watching: How does a laxative work to lose weight

Lots of folks think laxatives space an easy, fast way to melted pounds. Yet IRL laxatives space not an efficient — or also safe — method to lose weight. This is the lowdown (along with much better weight loss solutions).


*
Share ~ above PinterestGetty Images
Laxatives deserve to loosen your stool or wake up bowel movements. This helps her turd do its grand poo-debut with less discomfort or straining. A 2012 research review showed that many poopers take laxatives for constipation or prior to a clinical procedure.

Different type of laxatives

There’s a type of laxative because that every crappy issue. Here’s exactly how they work:

Lubricants (Fleet): Oil (usually mineral oil) coats her bowels and poo. This softens her stool, do it much easier to pass.

Stimulants (Dulcolax, Senokot): castle contract her intestinal wall muscles to aid move your stool along.

Stool softeners (Colace, Surfak): girlfriend guessed it! these laxatives soften your poop to alleviate straining and also constipation.

Osmotics (Milk of Magnesia, MiraLax): They transport moisture from nearby body tissue to her colon. This softens stool and triggers bowel movements.

Bulking agents (Metamucil, Benefiber, Citrucel): this fiber additionally absorb fluid in her intestines to bulk up and also soften her turds.


Laxatives (might) assist you shed water weight

Some laxatives assist turds absorb an ext water. This help you poop them out an ext easily. However with this method, water from various other parts of her body gets flushed down the toilet right along with Mr. Hanky.

So, girlfriend might endure some short-lived weight loss — but it’ll just be water weight. Laxatives have actually no effect on yes, really fat.


Dehydration station

Lots of laxatives attract water native the remainder of your body right into your colon. That’s why dehydration is a super typical side effect. You should slay her water intake while taking laxatives. This can aid prevent a thirsty trap.

Here space some symptom to look out for:

thirstnauseafatigueheadachesreduced urination

You might construct an electrolyte imbalance

You’ve prob heard around electrolytes and know the they’re important. Well, the rumors are true. Electrolytes room substances that conduct electrical energy when liquified in water. A 2004 research review confirmed that they’re crucial for your cells and also tissues to function on fleek.

Some usual electrolytes are:

sodiumcalciumchloridephosphatepotassiummagnesium

Laxative use — particularly when abused — can lead come an electrolyte imbalance. This can acquire dangerous.

One small 1994 research of 24 people found that laxatives can cause major changes come urinary sodium and also potassium levels. A larger 2012 research of 2,270 world showed that laxatives boost the all at once risk of electrolyte issues.

Symptoms include:

thirstfatigueweaknessmuscle achesheart palpitations

More serious side effects include:

comaseizuresconfusion

Laxative abuse is when you take laxatives more often than you should in bespeak to shed weight. It can be very dangerous and is also fairly common.

A 1995 research study review showed that laxative abuse occurs in an estimated 4 percent that people. A 2012 research study review proved that laxative abuse is typical in human being with an eating disorder (ED) like anorexia or bulimia nervosa.

A 2002 study likewise suggested the laxative abuse is typical in obese and overweight teenagers. But keep in mind, anyone can abuse laxatives.

Laxative abuse risks

Laxative abuse can lead to long-term and also even life-threatening conditions. These include:

dehydrationintestinal damagechronic constipationelectrolyte imbalanceshort- or long-term damages to her digestive system

Laxative abuse symptoms

Laxative abuse can cause a huge variety of side effects. You might experience multiple symptoms at once.

Minor symptom include:

thirstfatiguenauseadiarrheavomitingsweatingheadachesdehydrationconstipation

PSA: don’t dismiss young symptoms. They could be a warning sign that other is off.

More severe symptoms include:

faintingbloody stoolheart palpitationsmuscle weaknessfeeling lightheadedshaking or shiveringchronic stomach painintense abdominal muscle crampingfluctuations in blood pressure

Is that addictive?

Laxatives room usually for sure when used in the short term. However some think long-term use deserve to lead come dependency. What does the science say?

Laxative seeks is likely emotional, no physical. There’s little evidence to back the idea that physical addiction is possible. The opportunity you’ll grow intolerant is additionally unlikely. But much more research is needed.

Treatment

If laxatives space affecting your wellness or happiness, get aid ASAP. Long-term use have the right to lead come dangerous (and sometimes irreversible) next effects. Just remember, you’re no alone ❤️. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Over there are lots of impressive resources that have the right to help.

A good an initial step is come chat v your doctor. Girlfriend can also see a trained mental health experienced or shot a treatment app.

Not ready to view a doctor? The national Institute of medicine Abuse supplies a range of cost-free services. You deserve to reach out to the problem Abuse and Mental wellness Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) nationwide Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).

There space also added resources available online prefer counseling services, hotlines, and treatment options.


Here space some an ext potential side impacts of laxative abuse:

Liver damage: This is rare however possible. One 1975 study found that laxative use added to liver damages in one participant.

Kidney damage: A 1994 case report verified that overusing laxatives have the right to lead to kidney failure.

GI damage: A 2001 study confirmed that laxative abuse have the right to mess with GI role and damages your pancreas.

Rhabdomyolysis: A 2010 case report proved that this condition is linked with laxative abuse. The the an outcome of fast muscle tissue degradation which release harmful proteins into your blood.


If you’re making use of laxatives to shed weight — or if you’re binge eating, purging, or restricting — seek experienced help. Castle can help you come up with a restore plan. There space so many safer, much better ways to shed weight without risking your health.

Here space some safe and also proven ways to help you lose weight:

Up your fruit and veggie game. They’re short in calories, however rich in fiber and nutrients. Bonus: One study proved that eating more produce is attached to a lower body weight.

Ditch the sugar. Delicious? Yes. Handle snack food? also yes. Processed sugar is high in calories, however has little nutritional value. 2001 study confirmed that drinking sugary drinks might be associated to obesity. Opt for a healthy sweetener prefer stevia.

Pump increase the volume on her workout routine. Physical task — also taking walks — can help you shed weight. A 2013 study review confirmed that functioning out can assist you keep the weight off once you struggle your healthy target.

Try come practice part control. You can still eat all her fave foods. Just enjoy castle in smaller portions. That way you deserve to lose weight without emotion deprived.

Be pro-protein.

See more: How Does Diet Soda Make You Fat, Just How Bad Is Diet Soda For You

A high protein breakfast is a great way to begin your day. It is what the science claims anyway. A 2010 study proved that a high protein breakfast reduces appetite so you deserve to avoid the afternoon snack attack.