Laxatives space a type of medicine that aid you have a bowel movement. Some world think lock can assist with weight loss. But is this really true? and when is that OK to use a laxative? A basic understanding that laxatives will help you know when it’s safe to usage them and when you must seek clinical help.


Laxatives space intended to treat constipation. You can buy many laxatives over the counter without a prescription. They are obtainable as liquids, pills, powders and other forms. They occupational in various ways:


Bulk-forming laxatives (common brands Metamucil and also Citrocel) are regularly powders girlfriend mix right into a liquid and also drink. They add fiber to her diet, which causes your stool to absorb more water from your body. This makes the stool softer and also easier to pass.

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Lubricant laxatives come as glycerin suppositories you insert right into your anus. The glycerin coats the stool and makes that glide out much more easily.

Osmotic laxatives do the intestines hold more water. This softens the stool and also makes it easier to have a bowel movement. Polyethylene glycol (Miralax) and magnesium hydroxide (Milk that Magnesia) space osmotic laxatives.

Stimulant laxatives pressure the bowel come contract to get rid of stool.

Stool softeners, such together docusate salt (Colace), add water and fat to your stool. The in its entirety effect is similar to osmotic and bulk-forming laxatives.


Do laxatives do you shed weight?


Many people think laxatives can help with load control. This is a myth. Making use of a laxative won’t aid you slim down.

Some civilization mistakenly believe laxatives make food move much faster through the body so you absorb fewer calories. The reality is most calories native food and also drinks are took in by the small intestine. Laxatives only impact the large intestine.

It’s feasible you might see the number top top the scale go down appropriate after you usage a laxative. However this is only since they do you shed water and also nutrients. As quickly as friend drink something, the weight will certainly come back.


When must you take it laxatives?


The only approved usage for laxatives is to relax constipation. Constipation wake up if you have fewer than three bowel movements in a week. But, you don’t necessarily must take a laxative if you constipated. Constipation might be uncomfortable, but it’s not dangerous. Many of the time, that lasts only a quick while. Adding an ext fiber to your diet and drinking a the majority of water helps soften her stool naturally.

Never take it a laxative to assist you shed weight. It simply doesn’t work. You additionally shouldn’t usage laxatives to feeling thinner.


Know just how to usage laxatives safely.


Laxatives commonly don’t have actually side effects if you usage them correctly. Follow these safety tips:

Before you take it a laxative, check out the direction on the package. It will certainly tell you how much medication to take and how frequently to take it it. If you don’t understand, questioning a pharmacist or contact your doctor. Using much more than the encourage dose can be dangerous.

Laxatives have the right to interfere with particular medications. If girlfriend take any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medicines, talk through your doctor prior to using a laxative. It’s additionally a an excellent idea to stop taking any other medication 2 hours prior to or after you take a laxative.

Only usage laxatives because that a quick time. Don’t take it them for more than one week.

Tell your doctor if a laxative doesn’t help you go to the bathroom. This can be a authorize of a much more serious condition.


Know the signs and also dangers the laxative abuse.


About 4% that Americans have abused laxatives at part point. Abuse means frequently making use of laxatives to shot to shed weight. Laxative abuse is common amongst people through the eating disorder bulimia. Civilization with the disorder repetitively eat large amounts of food and then try to compensate with practices like vomiting or acquisition laxatives.

Abusing laxatives deserve to be very dangerous. Side results of laxative abuse include:

Dependency top top laxatives to have a bowel movement

The bottom line: Laxatives don’t work for weight loss, and using them to shot to burned pounds can be dangerous. Use them only as directed. If girlfriend have any kind of questions around laxative use, talk with your doctor.


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Amy Rushlow
Medical Reviewer: william C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last evaluation Date: 2021 might 15
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THIS tool DOES NOT provide MEDICAL ADVICE. That is intended for informational functions only. It is no a instead of for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore skilled medical advice in seeking treatment due to the fact that of other you have read top top the site. If girlfriend think friend may have actually a medical emergency, immediately call your medical professional or dial 911.

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View sources
Austin SB, Penfold RB, Johnson RL, et al. Clinician to know of youth abusing over-the-counter assets for weight regulate in a big U.S. Incorporated health system. Journal of eating Disorders. 2013;1:40. Brown CA, Mehler PS. Successful “detoxing” from commonly utilized modes of purging in bulimia nervosa. Eat Disorders. 2012;20(4):312-320. Pomeranz JL, Taylor LM, Austin SB. Over-the-counter and out-of-control: legal techniques to defend youths indigenous abusing commodities for weight control. American newspaper of public Health. 2013;103(2):220-225.
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