How do laxatives work for weight loss?

Are you here to find the truth about laxatives? If yes, then you are at the right place so keep on reading. Obesity or having weight more than your required limit could be a highly frustrating experience. It limits your physical activities and your overall health is compromised. When things with your weight go beyond control then you might not get desirable results through exercise and all. It is because the physical routine requires you to be energetic, but overweight people are mostly lethargic. This is where laxatives for weight loss comes into play.

What Are Laxatives?

Laxatives are a medicine that is essentially meant for treating constipation. Doctors recommend laxatives if you have serious issues in passing stool. However, it is also used for weight loss. These tablets help with bowel movements.

 It is available in the form of pills, liquids, Phenocal and powder, etc. However, pills are the most common form of laxatives that are available as an over-the-counter drug for which you may or may not require a prescription.

Do Laxatives Help in Losing Weight?

A lot of people think that laxatives could help in weight loss. The truth here is that the primary purpose of laxatives is not weight loss. It is used for treating constipation as mentioned above. People believe that the use of this medication helps them to make their consumed food move faster through their intestines. They believe that this would let their body absorb fewer calories and they would eventually lose weight.

 But, the majority of calories through your food and drinks pass or get absorbed in the smaller intestine. On the other hand, laxatives affect only your large intestine. Many times, people using laxatives see their weight going down on the scale.

 This weight reduction is not due to laxatives burning your fats. Rather, it passes the liquid in your body and that makes you lighter on the scale. In short, laxatives helps in losing the liquid weight from your body and not the weight of the fat.

Classes of Laxatives

The following are the different classes or forms of laxatives, which performs different functions as given below:

  • Stimulant

Speed up the digestive tract movement

  • Saline

The liquid is consumed by the smaller intestine so that bowel movement can be promoted

  • Bulk

Traverse undigested through the intestines while absorbing liquid and tallying bulk to stool

  • Osmotic

Enable colon with extra water retention so that bowel movement frequency is increased

  • Lubricant

Coats stool surface along with intestine lining for easy bowel movements

  • Stool Softeners

Enable stool to take more liquid where the softness of the stool makes it easy to pass

Side Effects of Laxatives?

Generally, there are no side effects associated with laxatives, if you consume them properly. You must read the directions given on the label and ensure that you don’t consume more than the recommended dose, which could be dangerous.

 If you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes then check first with your doctor before consuming it. Also, check with your doctor if you are taking other medication.

Moreover, this must only be consumed for a shorter period, which is usually a week. Overdose or longer use may result in dehydration, organ damage, minerals, and electrolyte imbalance, etc.


Laxatives are over-the-counter medicine which you may purchase without a prescription. It is ideally meant for constipation. However, people experience a reduction in weight which is mainly due to the removal of liquids stored in your body.

 It is best to be used with the directions of your doctor and especially when you have chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Overdose or longer use may result in dangerous dehydration, organ damage, and a serious imbalance of electrolytes and minerals in the body. 

Harris Shawn
Author: Harris Shawn

About Harris Shawn

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