Laxatives are a kind of medication that people are advised to take during conditions of constipation. However, the concept and effect of taking these medications are misunderstood by some people.
Is Consuming Laxatives A safe way To Reduce Weight?
They start using laxatives thinking that it will help in reducing their weight. The use of laxatives is not considered safe for a reduction in weight. There are several other methods of weight reduction that are safe to be practiced.
Do Laxatives Make You Lose Weight?
To get the desired body weight, you must undertake some effective and good practices. The most important factor here is maintaining a healthy lifestyle and focusing on your diet. Healthcare officials and doctors do not recommend laxatives for weight loss. People are often misguided regarding its use. They think that its use will prevent calories to be absorbed in the body but this is a highly ineffective and unsafe strategy.
What do laxatives do?
The primary function of laxatives is to treat the condition of constipation. This happens as the drugs work inside your body and will soften the stools. They also stimulate bowel movements to help your body get rid of waste products. Often, people link the passing of excessive stools to weight loss. Once the laxatives are taken, people may feel lighter for some time but there is no evidence of laxatives supporting weight loss till now.
Losing water from the body
The laxatives are responsible for causing water loss and not weight loss. The temporary state of feeling lighter after passing stools is due to loss of water and not due to loss of body fat. And losing water from the body does not account for losing weight. The majority of the laxatives work by helping the gut to absorb water or help in keeping some amount of water around the stool. The presence of this water is helpful in softening the stool that makes it easy to be passed. It can also lead to diarrhea.
Even if you consume high doses of stimulant laxatives, they do not promote weight loss at all. These drugs only promote the smooth movement of stool through your digestive tracts. They only have a modest effect on calorie absorption.
What are the safety and risks involved in the process?
There are several over-the-counter laxatives available for consumption by the patients. People usually take them whenever they feel constipation or discomfort in their stomach.
When people take laxatives to treat constipation, they feel lighter and better after consuming it. However, if the laxatives are taken with the motive of weight loss in the mind, it can lead to conditions of diarrhea. The use of these drugs frequently leads to developing conditions of alternating diarrhea and constipation. Therefore, one needs to be very careful while consuming them.
This condition usually arises when you start consuming osmotic laxatives. The motive of osmotic laxatives is to draw water from the body and let it remain present in the gut to soften the stool. If you consume these laxatives in excess or consume them frequently, you may start facing the issue of dehydration in your body. Apart from these, there are several other laxatives that can lead to a condition of dehydration in your body.
The symptoms of dehydration are headache, dizziness, weakness, thirst, decreased urination, and even dry mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms upon consumption of laxatives, you must get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.
Imbalance in intestinal function
When you take stimulant laxatives, you will experience relief in your constipation issues. This category of laxatives works on certain muscles present in your intestinal tract that help in easing the movement of stools through your body. If the use of stimulant laxatives is continued, it may cause your body to become dependent on it.
Well, some more research is required in this area and some of the researchers also think that the gut may become increasingly dependent on the stimulation for bowel movements and the smooth passage of stools. The excessive use of these drugs can also prevent the food from moving food in the digestive tract of its own accord.
The frequent use of laxatives can also have harmful effects like irritation in the gut lining. This situation automatically puts the individual at the risk of passing bloody stools.
The frequent use of laxatives can prove to be harmful to the body. The process of electrolyte balance can be hampered by these drugs. They can cause the body to absorb high amounts of electrolytes like phosphorus and sodium from the gut.
They can also lead to lowering blood levels of magnesium, potassium, and calcium in the body. Such conditions can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm and the development of weakness in the body. If the situations get worse, the electrolyte imbalance can also turn out to be life-threatening as well.
When do you need to see a doctor?
To maintain a good body weight, it is important that you use safe and effective methods in the process of doing so. You should not try to consume medicines or any other healthcare products without the prescription of the doctor. A doctor’s consultation is a must before consuming any drug as it can lead to causing severe conditions in your body. The doctor will advise you on how to maintain a healthy weight and keep serious diseases like diabetes and heart attack away from you.
Often, the process of losing weight can prove to be physically and mentally exhausting for an individual.
What are the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder?
One needs to stay observant of an individual to see the eating disorders. Some of the common symptoms include issues like saying no to certain food items, frequent mood swings and withdrawal from social activities, losing and gaining weight frequently, gastrointestinal problems, troubled sleeping and concentration, feeling dizzy or cold all the time, and also being preoccupied with weight loss.
What are the safe weight loss strategies?
The use of laxatives was never a good strategy for you to lose weight. Also, restrictive dieting doesn’t seem to be working for people in the long run. Therefore, the most effective technique to lose weight is making sustainable lifestyle changes.
You must increase the amount of physical activity being done every day and should focus on your diet. You must consume a portion of nutritious and balanced food to keep your body in a healthy and running state. Try to practice self-care to keep yourself away from negative image formation about your body.
Anyone who thinks that they may need to lose weight can find out from a doctor whether this is necessary for their health. The doctor can advise a person on what the best weight range is for them. This range will depend on their height and body type, among other factors. Weight loss is only beneficial for a person’s well-being when it is necessary, and they do it safely.
Eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly may help a person reach their desired weight. Anyone experiencing issues with their body image should seek support from a doctor, who can help them access the right support.