This doubt has never been so high and for such worrying reasons. Due to the controversial use made by celebrities or the constant search for a “perfect” body, many people wonder about the possibility of using laxatives to lose weight. But, the laxative in the body does not cause weight loss but deflates.
The drug should be used only when necessary and after medical prescription, as there are several risks caused when used in excess and for this purpose.
With this in mind and the importance of clarifying the risks of using laxatives for weight loss, we discuss in the following text how the laxative works in the body when it should be used and the complications it can bring.
What Is The Laxative Used For?
A laxative is a medication used to help the bowels function, relieving conditions such as constipation. It can also be used during the preparation of surgical procedures.
Therefore, it is only recommended for people who suffer from constipation or who need to undergo a surgical procedure that requires this intestinal “cleaning,” as in the case of exams such as colonoscopy, performed to examine the colon and rectum.
Except for these conditions, laxative use should not be done. In addition, when used, it must be prescribed by a doctor. There are severe risks in self-medication, which apply to laxative use.
What Is The Effect Of Laxatives On The Body?
The action of this medication is to cause intestinal contractions, which help to stimulate the elimination of feces. This stimulus is different depending on the laxative used.
- Stimulants or irritants: they cause more significant contraction of the intestinal muscles, accelerating evacuation;
- Osmotic: laxatives that absorb water into the colon (a process called osmosis) and favor bowel movements;
- Fecal bolus (or bulking) formers: they also absorb water but form bulkier fecal boluses, which helps to eliminate and stimulate intestinal muscle contraction;
- Lubricants promote a softening of the fecal cake and therefore make feces easier to evacuate.
Pharmacist and pharmacology doctor also answered some of the most common questions about the effect of laxatives on the body:
How Long Does A Laxative Effect Last?
“In general, these drugs are taken once a day, and the laxative action takes place 6 to 12 hours after taking the drug“, he guides. It may be different for each person, as factors such as weight, type of laxative, and food ingested by the patient interfere with this time.
Can Prolonged Use Of Laxatives Impair The Absorption Of Other Medications?
“If they are used in excess (above the recommended dose), and severe diarrhea occurs, they may impair the absorption of other medicines. In the case of contraceptives, for example, if diarrhea occurs 3 to 4 hours after taking the contraceptive, it is as if the drug had not been taken“, he explains.
How To Take It?
Laxatives can be taken as tablets, syrups, or jellies (herbal medicines). In addition, they can be used rectally. According to each type, the orientation for use is different, which must be evaluated and carried out by the doctor responsible for monitoring the patient.
Among the options for laxatives in pills, there are drugs made from the active ingredient Bisacodyl, which have a more immediate effect. In these cases, the recommendation is to take these laxatives, preferably at night. As it takes 6 to 12 hours for the product to start, when you take it before bed, you can plan to go to the bathroom in the morning.
Another care must be taken about the foods consumed with this type of laxative. Products that reduce stomach acid, for example, should be avoided.
Milk, antacids (aluminum and magnesium hydroxide), and proton pump inhibitors (Omeprazole, for example) favor the rapid loss of the enteric coating, that is, the coating that prevents the drug from dissolving so that it reaches the intestine intact and which prevents the release of the active ingredient in the wrong place.
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