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Is it healthy to lose weight using laxatives?

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markos | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 12, 2009 at 6:39 PM via web

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Is it healthy to lose weight using laxatives?

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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted October 13, 2009 at 12:53 AM (Answer #1)

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Parkerlee gave an excellent response to this question.

In addition, there are a number of digestive problems that can be associated with overuse of laxatives.

  • irritable bowel syndrome associated with overuse of laxatives
  • anorexia/bulemia (heat problems arrhythmia)
  • electrolyte imbalance: dizzyness, heart problems (life threatening)
  • malnutrition
  • dehydration: body expells water through bowel (life threatening)
  • constipation: inability of bowel to evacuate without use of laxative
  • bowel prolapse (lower intestine comes out of body during bowel movement) a life threatening condition
  • rupture appendix if laxatives are taken during a bout of abdominal pain (a life threatening condition)
  • liver failure with excessive use of some laxatives
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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted October 12, 2009 at 9:09 PM (Answer #2)

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Not at all, and this practice can be really dangerous as it depletes the body fluids of electrolytes necessary for proper function. You can put your kidneys into real distress if you do this regularly over a period of time. (For the same reason, some flu patients end up in emergency because of dehydration.)

Mind you, apart from the above, food which is prematurely evacuated does not have the time to be digested, not just for calories but for everything else. By using laxatives indiscriminately, you are automatically starving yourself. Such use is even one symptom of boulimia and anorexia, and this infernal syndrome is harder to break since it seems like such an easy way to "cheat."  Better stay zen and change your global eating habits permanently -your body will appreciate your respect!

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professorx | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 13, 2009 at 3:01 AM (Answer #3)

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It is important to remember that laxatives cause loose stools usually secondary to increase in peritalsis (contraction of the digestive tract) and therefore increasing transit time for food material to complete the movement in the tract. This compromises the absorption of nutrients and therefore will eventually deplete the nutrition source of all your body cells. In addition to this, there will be loss of electrolytes and fluids therefore disturbing the normal functions of your body cells.

There are several types of laxatives but they all lead to the same result eventually and therefore will be unhealthy to use for the main purpose of losing weight.

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