Of all the myths of health in the world, the idea that there is a silver bullet to lose weight can be one of the most persistent and harmful. From Detox Tees to Trend Diets we have seen countless products and practices that people claim to be fast, easy and harmless to lose weight. The use of laxatives for weight loss is another of these practices, but it is hardly harmless. Unfortunately, this is one of the longest-running and most prevalent misguided methods of weight loss, especially among young women.
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. 1 First things first: What are laxatives?
Laxatives are a type of medication used to treat constipation, by relaxing bowel movements or promoting bowel movements, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). , Almost everyone experiences constipation at one point or another . There are approximately zillion causes including nutritional problems (too little fiber, too many dairy products), certain medications (antidepressants), lifestyle changes (non-pooping when you need to go traveling), medical conditions (hypothyroidism), IBS) and even Stress . Constipation not only feels miserable but can also lead to complications such as Hemorrhoids or Anal fissures If you try too hard to poop your first move should be as before SELF reported. But sometimes you need an extra boost. This is where laxatives come into play. For the occasional treatment of constipation they can do the trick and are generally quite harmless.
. 2 There are different types of laxatives.
There are actually five main types, and they all get things moving in different ways, according to Marc Leavey, M. Intern., An internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, opposite SELF. And some of them are available both orally and as a rectal suppository. How They Work As Explained by the Mayo Clinic :
- Stimulants (Dulcolax, Senokot): This class of laxatives triggers contractions of the intestinal wall muscles to move the chair along the GI tract, causing leads to elimination. These are available in oral forms and as a rectal suppository.
- Osmotics (Milk of Magnesia, Miralax): They draw water from nearby body tissue into the colon to relieve stool and spur motion.
- Fillers (Metamucil, Benefiber, Citrucel):
These fiber supplements absorb fluid in the gut and swell to a large, soft, bulky stool whose presence triggers a normal bowel movement.
- Lubricants (liquor): These use oil, such as mineral oil. To coat both the intestine and the stool, the stool remains moist and soft, helping it to pass through the GI tract more easily. These are also available in the form of a rectal suppository.
- Stool (Colace, Surfak): These reduce stress by mixing moisture in dry, hard chairs.
. 3 Laxatives do not actually help you lose fat.
If you try to use laxatives for weight loss, the number on the scale may decrease. But this apparent garb is deceptive, because it is in fact water weight that you lose. Women's Health Expert . Jennifer Wider M. D., says SELF. Weight loss is temporary and does not really change your body fat composition. "Very little to no fat can be lost [with laxatives]" Residuals
While weight and weight loss are very individual and complex problems what is clear is that they depend on a number of factors beyond your control. This includes your diet and exercise routine, yes, but also things like your metabolism, hormones, genetics, other health problems you have, or medications you are taking. In any case, Dr. Leavey, your body weight has a lot more to do with "over the top".
. 4 Long-term use of laxatives can actually sustain your constipation problems.
Stimulant Laxative The type most commonly used for weight loss is "relatively hard" and should not be used over an extended period of time, Dr. Leavey. Why? "The gut can get used to, which leads to more constipation ," he explains. Your system develops a dependency on them (Mayo Clinic ), which means that your ability to have natural bowel movements decreases, and more and more laxatives are needed. If you think you have developed a reliance on laxatives, speak Please contact your doctor. According to NIDDK you should only use stimulant laxatives if your constipation is severe or if other laxatives are not available.
If, of course, you are persistent, c First, you should talk to your doctor first to see if there is a basic health problem. Typically, mass-release agents are the most gentle on your body and safest in the long-term, according to the Mayo Clinic
. 5. Laxatives can actually be extremely harmful if used for long periods.
While it is usually okay to take a laxative here and there when stopped, ongoing and unnecessary laxative use – for example, in an attempt to lose weight – can have a negative impact on your health in various ways.
Prolonged use of laxatives can irritate the intestinal mucosa and lead to all sorts of gastrointestinal problems, says dr. Leavey. According to Dr. Contrary to this, dehydration and imbalances between electrolytes and minerals can occur. Since electrolytes such as calcium and sodium are critical for various bodily functions, imbalance can cause dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, and even death, explains Drs. Contrary. These imbalances can also cause symptoms such as abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, confusion and seizures, according to the Mayo Clinic
. In addition, osmotic laxatives can drop your blood pressure even causing permanent kidney damage, adds dr. Leavey added.
Conclusion: This is not a weight loss method that you want to try. "There is no sound basis for relieving laxatives, and there is a clear potential for harmful side effects," says Dr. Leavey. "Do not do it."