Do Laxatives Make You Lose Weight?

Laxatives are widely used as a weight reduction method. So, do laxatives make you lose weight? The answer is yes. But, before you get really excited about having found an easy way to shed a few pounds, let’s ask another question: What kind of weight can you lose by taking laxatives? Can laxatives help you lose actual fat? Of course not!

Laxatives simply empty your bowels. This way you can get rid of a few pounds of feces and some water, but don’t expect to lose any fat. Laxatives don’t act in your stomach. They act in the large intestine. The problem is that the calories get absorbed in the small intestines and by the time food reaches the large intestine, all of the calories have already been absorbed. Even if laxatives did work on the small intestines, this wouldn’t be a good thing, because apart from preventing the absorption of calories, they would also prevent the absorption of many nutrients and minerals.

So, the only “benefit” of using laxatives is that they make you feel lighter for a while. And to get this small benefit you face the risk of experiencing a long list of side-effects, such as: severe abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, gas, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea and electrolyte disturbances, which can cause cardiac arrhythmias and may be fatal. Does getting rid of a few pounds of water and feces, worth this kind of risk?