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Risks Of Using Laxatives For Weight Loss

Losing those extra pounds doesn’t mean you should engage in behaviors that can affect your health. Using laxatives to lose weight can be dangerous.

Some people have a great obsession with wanting to lose kilos. In others, there is fear of increasing them. This sometimes leads to risky behavior. These include using laxatives to lose weight.

We must start by clarifying that they are not intended as a method to lose weight or help burn fat. In addition, its inappropriate, excessive, and unsupervised use can cause severe damage to health, as we will see below.

What Are Laxatives, And What Are They For?

Laxatives are a class of medications that should only be consumed or administered under a doctor’s prescription. There are two types: rectal or oral.

Its purpose is to help food move through the digestive system faster. In this way, they accelerate or help eliminate feces when the intestine is affected.

They are recommended to combat constipation, increase stool volume, or facilitate urination. For example, if a person has a fractured coccyx, straining when defecating can affect him. In this case, laxatives momentarily contribute to your well-being.

Its administration may also be necessary when endoscopic studies are performed. However, the attending physician will determine the type of laxative and the dose, as well as the time for which the patient should use them.

Those with natural product extracts are preferred. If the person has problems with frequent bowel movements, it is recommended to increase the fiber consumption in the diet, taking advantage of its natural laxative properties.

Are Laxatives Useful For Weight Loss?

For some time now, it has become common practice to use laxatives to try to lose weight. As we have already said, this is not the purpose of these drugs.

In this sense, according to a study in Barranquilla (Colombia), with young people between 14 and 18 years old in whom risk behaviors associated with bulimia predominated, 18.2% admitted to practicing this type.

Furthermore, it is considered that those who tend to become overweight or obese are more likely to do so. However, it should be clarified that this is not just limited to young people but that adults are also involved.

Regarding the effectiveness of laxatives for weight loss, it is worth clarifying that it is not proven. And it is that the lost weight is made up of fluids.

Laxatives tend to affect the functioning of the large intestine, helping with the transit of feces. However, they do not eliminate subcutaneous fat accumulated in the body. This can be lost in other ways, through diet and training.

Now, a person who uses a laxative to lose weight will lose perhaps 1 or 2 pounds of fluid, with minerals and electrolytes. But he’ll win them back when he rehydrates.

Risks Of Using Laxatives To Lose Weight

There are several risks related to using laxatives for weight loss. It is an unsafe practice which can cause several health problems.


People do use them without medical supervision. Therefore, they may use laxatives that are inappropriate for them or exceed the dose and time. Consequently, severe diarrhea can occur, leading to dehydration and loss of electrolytes.

Uric Acid And Kidney Problems

A problem related to this point is that urine output also decreases as dehydration increases due to water loss in the stool. The consequences point to a malfunction of the kidneys and an increase in uric acid, which can lead to the appearance of pathologies such as gout.

Nutrient Loss

By accelerating intestinal transit, the body has less time to assimilate some nutrients. A lack of potassium, for example, can lead to muscle problems and cardiac arrhythmias.

Keeping this practice of consuming laxatives to lose weight over time will make us unbalanced, causing a nutritional imbalance without necessarily affecting weight.


Another problem related to the lack of certain nutrients is that anemia can appear. This has been detected in people suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia.

Gastrointestinal Problems

In the long term, prolonged use of laxatives can irritate the upper digestive tract and colon, affecting the lining, permeability, and function of the intestinal mucosa.


The intestines may stop doing their job efficiently as they are not entirely forced to perform their functions by suppressing with laxatives. Thus, we will be unable to evacuate without help, and, as paradoxical as it may seem, we will suffer from constipation.

Development Of Other Addictive Behaviors

One of the biggest problems related to this consumption is that teenagers often engage in risky behavior without considering the consequences. In addition to the fact that the practice can become addictive, it is also often associated with the early onset of consumption of harmful substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

Lose Weight Safely

Showing a slender figure can become an obsession. And although it’s recommended to maintain a healthy weight, indulging in certain practices is worse in the long run.

It is important to note that no diet or activity that makes us sacrifice our health can be beneficial. Taking laxatives to lose weight affects us and is useless: we will not lose pounds permanently.

Also Read: Weight Loss Formulas & Thyroid: Know Why To Avoid This Danger!

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