Weight Loss is Ineffective and Dangerous
It may not
be discussed in polite conversation, but it is common knowledge
that people who suffer from eating disorders often use a laxative
to assist them with weight loss. Not only is laxative weight loss
ineffective in helping a person lose weight, but laxative weight
loss is also dangerous in several ways.
by stimulating nerves the large intestine, or colon, to expel waste.
In doing so, laxatives also take a lot of water from the large intestine.
Individuals with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders falsely
believe that laxative weight loss is successful because it speeds
the digestion process and prevents the absorption of calories in
the small intestine. This is simply untrue.
loss is futile for at least two reasons. First, any weight loss
caused by a laxative is the result of water being removed from the
body. A person may lose water weight from a laxative, but this weight
will be quickly regained upon rehydration. Second, laxatives have
no effect whatsoever upon the small intestine nor the absorption
On top of being
ineffective, laxative weight loss can also be dangerous. Using a
laxative regularly for weight loss can lead to imbalances of electrolytes,
sodium, and potassium—substances essential to heart function.
Laxative weight loss methods may also result in laxative dependence,
dehydration, bowel infection, and other painful digestive problems.