Are Laxatives Safe for Losing Weight Video
When you're looking to lose weight from your body, laxatives may seem like an obvious option, but is it safe to use them as a weight loss technique?
Before we look at that, we should look into exactly what laxatives are – it may sound obvious, but there are lots of different forms and each supplement you try may work in a slightly different way.
For instance, an oral osmotic will draw water from surrounding tissues through osmosis, while stool softeners will add moisture to prevent strain during movements.
There are also rectal stimulants which prompt the large intestine to excrete more, while lactose is useful for relieving chronic constipation, but it usually takes longer.
There are plenty of herbal supplements that have laxative effects too, with plants like Aloe, senna and rhubarb all having natural laxative tendencies.
You'd think with natural options like that, laxatives would be an acceptable form of weight loss, but that's not necessarily the case.
Sometimes, there are cases when a laxative is necessary, like when people are going to have surgery or bowel examinations, or if they've consumed something poisonous and they need to expel it from their system.
However, the largest groups of people who use laxatives are those with anorexia or bulimia, who scarcely need extreme weight control strategies like these.
In the short-term, use can result in prolonged diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, thirst and a deficiency in electrolytes and minerals in the body.
Over a longer period, you could inflict pancreatitis, loss of colon function, skin fragmentation or steatorrhoea, which is the presence of excess fat in stools.
Rather than taking laxative supplements, you can control your weight loss by eating healthily by avoiding junk food and eating smaller-sized portions at meal times.
You could also add calcium to your diet, exercise regularly and drink plenty of water, while avoiding soft drinks.
So as you can see, while there are some instances where laxatives may be necessary, there are plenty of other healthier ways to lose weight.