Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weight Loss & Laxatives

The general use for laxatives is relieving and preventing constipations. It softens stool, enabling you to have a bowel movement. Laxative teas for weight loss contain plant-based ingredients like aloe, senna, rhubarb root, cascara, buckhorn and castor oil; some of these ingredients are found in over-the-counter oral laxatives as well. Using laxative for weight loss leads to numerous side effects.

How Laxatives Work?

    Laxatives do not affect the small intestine; instead, they act on the large intestine, preventing calories from being absorbed. The food passes through the digestive system and exits the body via the rectum. Taking laxatives in any form affects fat absorption in the body, causing greasy diarrhea. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, laxative weight control is a myth. Weight loss from laxatives usually consists of loss of water, minerals, electrolytes and indigestible fibers. The bowel movements contain small amounts of food, fat and water. Lost water weight returns when your body rehydrates.

Electrolytes and Minerals

    Prolonged laxative use for weight loss causes your body's electrolytes and mineral balances to become offset, affecting how internal organs function. The National Eating Disorders Association says the body needs sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus for proper nerve and muscle functions in the colon and heart. Organ damage includes colon infections, irritable bowel syndrome and liver damage. The National Eater Orders Association says laxative abuse may even contribute to colon cancer.


    The constant fluid loss cause by laxative use leads to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include tremors, weakness, blurred vision, fainting and dizziness, kidney damage and even death. To combat dehydration, drink eight glasses of water a day to flush the system. Severe dehydration requires medical attention, in some cases intravenous fluids administered at an emergency room.

Other Side Effects

    Using laxatives for weigh loss causes a list of other side effects. Mayo Clinic staff says some of side effects of laxative use include bloating, stomach cramping and discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, gas, choking, throat irritation, belching, urine discoloration, intestinal discomfort and rectal bleeding. Excess laxative use can have the reverse effect and increase constipation.

Withdrawal Symptoms

    You experience withdrawal symptoms if you've used laxative for a long period of time or you have to increase laxative dosage to get desired results. Laxative dependency occurs because the colon no longer knows how to remove waste from the digestive system. In addition to digestive and stomach problems, laxative withdrawal symptoms include mood swings and fatigue. Something Fishy, the website on eating disorders, says less severe withdrawal symptoms disappear in approximately two weeks. Severe withdrawal may require medical attention.

Sensible Weight Loss

    The best way to lose weight is avoiding laxative and following a sensible diet and weigh loss plan. The U.S. National Library of Medicine says the best way to lose weight is consuming a nutritious diet of approximately 1,500 calories and aiming for a weight loss of one to two pound a week. Cardiovascular exercise at least five times a week and strength training two or three times a week burns fat and tones muscles. This method produces permanent weight loss, not water weight loss associated with laxatives.


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