Health Tip Details


Weight Loss


Dr. Zeba Sultan 23 Jun 2018 1815 Views

A lot of people think that if they start taking laxatives they will start dropping pounds! But is it true?

Do laxatives help in weight loss?

What are laxatives and how do they work?

Let it make it very simple for you. Laxatives are medications people use to help stimulate bowel movements or loosen up stool to ease its passage.

They are used to treat constipation or other digestive disorders.

However, many people believe that using laxatives can help increase the frequency of bowel movements and allow for quick, easy and effortless weight loss. But the truth is something else…

There are many types of laxatives that are available in the market. For example:

  1. Stimulant laxatives
  2. Osmotic type laxatives
  3. Bulk-forming laxatives
  4. Saline and lubricant laxatives
  5. Stool softeners

These laxatives are easily available over the counter at any medical stores. Nowadays, it has become very common to use these medications for controlling weight. Since laxatives work by pulling water from your body into the intestines, allowing stool to absorb more water for an easier passage, you may lose water weight which is temporary and not at all beneficial for long term weight loss.

On top of that laxatives abuse can cause a lot of side-effects such as:

  • dehydration (fluid loss)
  • electrolyte imbalance
  • acid/alkaline base changes
  • the inability to produce enough digestive enzymes
  • edema (water retention)
  • dizziness and light-headedness
  • damage to the colon and digestive organs
  • alternating diarrhoea and constipation
  • complications with the cardiovascular systems
  • weight fluctuations
  • other life-threatening side effects such as:


  • Rhabdomyolysis:  Rapid deterioration of muscle tissue and the release of a harmful protein into the bloodstream.
  • Gastrointestinal damage:  Long-term pancreatic damage as a result of former laxative use.
  • Liver damage: A case study reported that laxative use contributed to liver damage in one patient.
  • Kidney failure: Another case study showed that overusing laxatives appeared to have caused severe kidney failure requiring dialysis, a treatment that helps remove waste and toxins from the blood.

** More research is required on these side-effects.

However, if you ask me, I would suggest that instead of using laxatives to control weight or digestive disorders, it would be better for you to make an overall change in dietary habits to eliminate your problems completely.

I have written another blog on natural laxatives for weight loss, constipation and other digestive disorders. You can take them instead of the otc(over the counter) laxative medications.

Thank me later and keep reading my blogs!!:)


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