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Though laxatives are taken to treat constipation, some people start taking laxatives to lose weight. People with chronic constipation often take laxatives to tackle the issue of difficult and infrequent bowel movement. A laxative could be a food substance or a chemical compound, which when consumed stimulates bowel activity.
The popular laxative, Dieter's tea comprises various herbs which cause the bowels to become irritable and pass stool frequently, resulting in diarrhea. People with eating disorders such as anorexia are seen to depend on these laxatives to lose weight. Those who take laxatives, will defend their case by saying they definitely lost weight after taking laxatives.
Now, when a person takes laxatives, the calorie absorption taking place in the small intestine is not hindered. If one is not bothered about losing the right kind of weight and still wants to go ahead with this weight loss method, let me put forth some of the adverse effects of chronic use of laxatives.
The low potassium and electrolyte content caused as a side effect of intake of laxatives can have an adverse effect on your heart. Having said that, people frequently taking laxatives for weight loss should not stop taking laxatives abruptly, as that could lead to several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Although most people believe that laxatives can represent an efficient way to produce weight loss, which is not well founded and has not been proven so far. Laxatives that are most frequently used for this purpose are the ones that stimulate the intestines to evacuate the content and these are available in a large number of over the counter formulas. Use of laxative does not represent an efficient way of losing weight, first of all, because it usually leads to laxative abuse and can cause many serious disorders and second of all, because their working mechanism does not cause real weight loss. Laxative induced weight loss occurs mostly because of the increased loss of fluids and stool and has nothing to do with the usual mechanisms that prevent or reduce the absorption of calories from the food that is ingested. This belief in not well founded, because the emptying process takes place after the nutrients and calories have already been absorbed by the small intestine. The weight loss that occurs is strictly caused by losing the water and stool and once you start eating and drinking again, the body goes back to extracting the water and nutrients from the food and usually causes a rebound process of water retention. This means that your body will be aware of the fact that it no longer has the necessary amount of water and will retain any amount of water that it can find. Many people these days find this to be an easy option for weight loss, probably because they are not fully aware of how the laxatives really work. It has been proven that the highest incidence of laxative use for this purpose has been amongst people suffering from bulimia nervosa.  In these cases, people ingest very large amounts of laxatives, usually in excess of the amount that has been recommended by the manufacturer. People with eating disorders will often become panicked after noticing the major side effect of water retention and mistake that for fat and use even more laxatives to get rid of that extra fat.
Although several types of laxatives are used experimentally by patients, in the final analysis, most of them end up using laxatives that cause rapid evacuation of the colon.
The most common pattern for the people with eating disorders is to start trying to lose weight by taking one or two pills and gradually develop tolerance to these. However, what is lost basically consists in fluids and electrolytes that are found in the lower bowel area. Usually, overweight people continue their diet habits normally, but will take laxatives immediately after the meal, in order to eliminate the consumed aliments from the body. Still, the amount lost after a diarrheal stool seems to be very reinforcing to the patient.
High amounts of fluids that are lost can cause significant medical complications that can even become life threatening, because of the severe dehydration that occurs.
People who don’t suffer from eating disorders such as bulimia can also try laxatives in order to acquire weight loss, especially if they are unaware of the possible threats. Because the laxative medication does not allow the intestines to perform its metabolism properly, there is a series of gastro-intestinal disorders that can result from their use.
Chronic use of laxatives can have serious sequelae, the most severe ones being the loss of the normal colonic peristalsis and the cathartic colon (loss of the normal colon function). Use of laxatives for a long period of time does not allow these movements to take place normally. The intestines become “lazy” because they no longer need to action as long as the stool is evacuated with the help of laxatives. In time, the muscles get atrophied and in severe cases they are not able to regain their functions even if the laxative administration is stopped. If the colon reaches the point where it can no longer function properly, it will need to be surgically removed. Diarrhea – Although it is perceived as the desired effect after laxative use, you should know that normally, a laxative should cause the elimination on normal stools and not diarrheic ones. Diarrhea is not desired because of the large amount of water that is lost along with the stool and that usually leads to dehydration. Another important side effect that takes place at the gastro-intestinal tract is malabsorption. In time, if fluids and the minerals they contain continue to be eliminated before they get absorbed, the body’s reserves will decrease and some pathological processes can develop. Usually, during a diarrheal stool, the individual will not only lose his intestinal content that would have normally been evacuated, but he will also lose minerals, nutrients and electrolytes. You probably know, that if you suffer from diarrhea your doctor will prescribe along with anti-diarrheal medication, some rehydrating salts as well. Purging, whether it happens due to some form of diarrheal disease or because of laxative use, usually results in a depletion of potassium, sodium and chloride.
Abdominal cramping – often occurs when stimulant laxatives are used, because the peristaltic moves and the secretion of water in the bowel are increased.
Stomach problems such as nausea or cramps do not usually occur in the beginning of laxative usage, but develop later on, when the entire GI tract gets weaker and is no longer functioning properly. The laxative medication can have multiple ways of producing the same effect and can be categorized into several classes. These are types of laxatives containing various salts of sodium, magnesium, glycerin, lactulose or sorbitol that are poorly absorbed and exert their laxative action due to their osmotic property. Magnesium salts stimulate fluid secretion and motility and can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain.
Polyethylene glycol (or PEG) is an osmotic laxative that clears the bowel by induction of diarrhea.
Stimulant medication is the most used form of laxatives for producing the expected weight loss effect. Bisacodyl – can cause severe gastric irritation and due to this it is usually used in the form of suppositories.
Senna extracts – should not be used for weight loss in individuals who suffer from diabetes. These reduce the surface tension of the liquid contents of the bowel and include docusate calcium or potassium.  The most common side effects include stomach upset, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and also throat irritation.
People who decide to use laxatives for weight loss usually choose the types of laxatives that exert their effect in a short period of time, such as saline and osmotic laxatives because they wish to eliminate the content of the previous meal they have ingested. However, if used on the long term, laxatives that cause the intestinal content to be evacuated slower than osmotic laxatives are also used in order to obtain this effect. Folks who take a laxative every time they think: their bowels should move could be headed for health problems. Can lead to addiction and the ultimate destruction of neurological and muscular control of the large intestine. Can bring on dizziness, fatigue, skin irritation, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, belching, and many other unwanted side effects depending on the laxative taken.
Even when constipation does develop, sufferers can often return to normal merely by increasing their fiber and fluid intake, by exercising more, or by setting more time aside for the commode and allowing time for nature to take its course.
For example, if constipation results from a lack of the dietary fiber necessary to form easily-passed stools, one can increase the intake of fiber-rich foods such as potatoes, beans, whole-grain breads, bran cereals, and fresh fruits, along with an ample diet of other vegetables.  At the same time, it is advisable to limit the eating of foods containing little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, white bread, and meats.
If constipation results from a lack of exercise, the affected person should make time to exercise daily, providing health permits.

Frequently however, misaligned vertebras in the lower spine indirectly cause constipation by pinching spinal nerves serving the bowel area.
Any significant changes in bowel habits which do not respond to exercise or a diet high in fiber, or both, call for a chiropractic examination. From my personal experience, the Mayo Clinic doctor I saw told me to use Milk of Magnesia nightly.
But, my body has the issue where nothing seems to really move down but everything comes back up. Jax replied, "I have a laxative regimen for severe slow transit constipation - Movicol liquid 40ml 4 x a day (easier than sachets) I take Paraffin Liquid 3 times a day - Glycerin Suppositories twice a day - Docusate 3 times a day - microlette micro enema (daily) - Bisacodyl (my colo-rectal Specialist swears by that) and various other stool softeners. Brittany responds, "I live on Miralax daily, take laxatives very often, and do enemas and suppositories also very often.
Jami replies, "I was diagnosed with colonic inertia around the same time I was diagnosed with GP. If you have Gastroparesis, then you have probably dealt with dumping syndrome at some point during your illness. There will be times in your life where your intestinal system is not working quite as effectively or efficiently as you would like it to be.
Before you consider taking over-the-counter laxatives, enemas, or other treatments for constipation, you may want to look at a number of natural home remedies that will help you to avoid the embarrassment of buying these products in the first place. When people experience problems with their digestive system, there is usually a fairly simple cause that can be rapidly addressed.
If you tend to drink a lot of alcohol, you work out to excess, you sweat a lot, or you do not drink a lot of water, it is understandable that you will suffer from this problem. There are also many dietary issues that are directly related to this digestive and intestinal problem, which can be immediately addressed in order to solve it fast. Many people do not consume the amount of natural fiber that is necessary for food to make its way through your digestive system, and so a low fiber diet is commonly one of the primary causes of constipation.
If you have a chronic constipation problem, then you should talk to doctor first to ensure that it is not some other issue. However, if you suffer from not being able to go to the number two from time to time, like many people do, you may want to consider natural remedies that are high in fiber. Rather than using laxatives or store-bought fiber supplements, there are things that you can do to reduce your discomfort and encourage proper elimination on a timely basis. The natural juice like aloe vera juice can be diluted in water and consumed last thing at night. Other natural remedies like flax seed, fenugreek, or barley can be helpful at providing your body with additional fiber to get things moving quickly.
There are some proven home treatments for constipation that have been used for many years by people all over the world. Grapes, raisins, and obviously prunes are some of the most common ingredients found in natural home treatments for constipation.
In other commonly consumed fruit is an orange, and by simply eating an orange a day, you will reduce your chances of constipation.
You may also have noticed this same kind of encouragement by drinking hot beverages such as tea or coffee.
Although most people do not get too excited about drinking spinach juice, the truth is that spinach and natural vegetable juices are extremely powerful and helping to reduce constipation and encouraging timely elimination. In fact, many health experts believe that if you eat well balanced diet full of vegetables and fruits, you will never suffer from this at all. When you go online to look for constipation treatments, you should keep in mind that these are only designed for short-term problems, and not for people who suffer from more serious health conditions. While some individuals may be more prone to this than others, in reality there are other causes of constipation that should be looked into, especially if this is a problem that continues to occur for no apparent reason. Among the many remedies, the most obvious way of treating constipation and preventing it from occurring in the first place is to simply make changes to your diet. If you are eating a diet that is high in processed foods, then you are likely going to have to deal with it for the rest of your life. However, by reducing the amount of processed foods that you eat and eating more natural fibers, including fruits and vegetables, you should be able to eliminate your need for any over-the-counter or prescription products for constipation. However, little do they realize that excessive use of laxatives can adversely affect their health in the years to come. At times, figure-conscious people start taking laxatives after meals in order to lose weight. Food ingested is mostly absorbed in the small intestine and only water and mineral absorption takes place in the large intestine. Diarrhea means loss of great amounts of water, which is why people feel they have lost weight; not realizing all they have lost is water weight of the body.
They pop laxatives after dinner and spend the rest of the next day running to the washroom, discarding all they ate.
Frequent intake of laxatives for a long time permanently alters the way the digestive system works. They basically cause the large intestines to empty sooner than needed and this way it doesn’t allow them to absorb the calories from food. There have been no clinical studies so far that could prove that laxatives can help overweight people eliminate body fat. So, you will not only lose no weight, but you may feel like you’ve even gained some because of the extra water retention.
This problem appears to be increasing in prevalence and has become the second most common problem in patients with bulimia, after induced vomiting. This results in a vicious circle that causes them to increase the dosage more and more every time and this way lead to laxative abuse.
These are usually formulas that contain senna extracts, cascara sagrada or any other substance that causes an irritation to the colon and causes the defecation process.
After a while, the evacuation of the intestinal content will no longer happen, because the body gets used to the irritating substances, so the patient will feel the need to take more pills.
This process does not happen as wished, because very little of the ingested food reaches the intestine so fast in order to be lost.
So, before trying laxatives for weight loss, you should know all the dangerous side effects that you are exposing your body to. Normal colonic peristalsis is represented by the movements that the intestines exert in order to physiologically eliminate their content during the defecation process. The stool is produced, usually as a result of bowel irritation and not the normal peristaltic moves. However, depending on the working mechanism of the laxative that is used, diarrheic stools often occur as a result of laxative administration. Although the absorption of nutrients and vitamins usually takes place in the small intestine, if the elimination is rushed, some of these components might not get enough time to be absorbed from food and can cause their serum levels to slowly decrease. This is because only a few diarrheal stools can cause severe dehydration because of the electrolytes you lose in the process.
These three elements are called “electrolytes” and are essential for many metabolic processes including nerve and muscle cell functioning.
As you know, calcium is an important element in the healthy bone growth process, but it is also important in heart and liver functions.
The pain is very similar to the one you experience during a diarrheal episode and can become very severe when large doses of laxatives are used.
Bloating and pain occur because of the increased peristaltic moves that force the intestinal content out. Though laxatives can be classified according to their chemical groups or their mechanism of action, the most useful classification is according to their clinically observed effects. These are often used for weight loss because of the wide variety of OTC products available.
Due to the property of fluid stimulation these can also cause watery stools and dehydration. These act in “producing” weight loss because they irritate the intestines and cause them to empty, this way giving the illusion of losing some pounds.

It produces rapid and drastic purgation and it is used to see immediate weight loss effects.  It can cause side effects such as nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, electrolyte disorders.
The side effects include the common ones for stimulant laxatives such as cramps and pain, but suppositories containing bisacodyl can cause a burning sensation in the rectum and mild proctitis. Laxatives are, after all, drugs, and like other drugs carry the risk of adverse side effects from habitual use.
Though the nerve distribution involved is highly complex this pinching effect can alter nerve impulses controlling bowel evacuation and thus bring on constipation.
According to Wikipedia, "Laxatives are foods, compounds or drugs taken to loosen the stool, most often taken to treat constipation.
There are many different flavors of it, so I could pick and choose which one I wanted to take.
My advice, if you are just starting out using laxatives to help constipation with Gastroparesis, try a low dosage first. We realized I had been severely constipated my whole life after I developed a rectal prolapse (at age 21). While some people may experience gas, bloating, and diarrhea fairly regularly, others can experience the discomfort of constipation. Constipation can be caused by a number of different reasons, not least of which is simple dehydration. When this is complicated by obesity, lack of exercise, or dehydration, constipation can become chronic.
Some of these are sold in pharmacies, but they can be embarrassing to purchase for many people. These need to be accompanied with large amounts of water so that constipation does not get worse. This is because oranges help to stimulate the bowels and encourage regular bowel movements. You can make these beverages at home by using fresh vegetables, but tried to make juice that contains plenty of fiber. Here are some fast acting allergy home remedies that will help you to relieve the symptoms.
However, they don't consider the adverse effects associated with the use of laxatives for a prolonged period of time.
In fact, laxatives are prescribed by medical practitioners to patients suffering from constipation and bloating. The water lost will be made up by the body within the next 48 hours, thus nullifying the body weight effect. Thus, the person experiences diarrhea, where feces are accompanied with large amounts of fluids. It has also been observed that constant laxative use causes severe chronic constipation and pain for long periods of time. Also, beware of marketers who sell these laxatives under the name of bowel-cleansing products. Sometimes, several doses of laxatives will be needed in order to produce the same initial effect. This is not dangerous if it only happens a few times, however if it becomes a habit the peristaltic moves will continue to lack and the body gradually gets used to not produce them anymore. Imagine how much you can lose if you have diarrheal stools every day or even several times a day. This is why, after diarrhea you may experience weakness, depression, tiredness and in severe cases even cardiac arrhythmias and death can occur. Because of that, abuse of laxative medication can lead to irregular heart function and kidney damage. The body learns to respond to the cues of the laxatives and loses its ability to adequately function on its own. There is an important overlap in their effects, depending on the dosage in which they are administered. Weight loss using saline laxatives should never be used in people suffering from any sort of renal impairment.
It is hard to use bisacodyl suppositories for weight loss because of the severe irritation it can cause. Medtronic has another pacer that's the same as the gastric pacer except that its implanted in your back and helps to stimulate your colon. In such cases, laxatives help stimulate bowel movement and facilitate easy passage of fecal matter out of the body.
They hasten elimination of undigested remains passed from the small intestine, before the large intestine can absorb water and minerals.
However, frequent intake of laxatives can result in dehydration, as the body is not allowed to retain the water required.
People who have used laxatives constantly will testify how after a period of time, they were unable to have bowel movements without the use of laxatives. The diarrhea that will result after taking the laxatives will cause the weight to decrease in a small percentage, but if the patient steps on the scale and sees this instant weight loss, he will be convinced that the weight loss is due to a decrease in body fat. As a result, the individual experiences not only physical but psychological complication also, because the constipation might make the individual feel “fat”. In high doses, many laxatives can lead to catharsis (a drastic fluid evacuation of the intestinal content). I have to take a minimum of 6 a day if I take less nothing happens & wen I need to take more then its a stay nearer to toilet facilities than usual.
Laxatives are also used once in a while to cleanse the colon, which in turn improves the overall health of a person. This is why a person has to make several trips to the washroom, after taking laxatives, as the undigested matter is quickly flushed out of the body.
The truth is that by the time the food reaches the large intestine, the nutrient absorption has already taken place in the small intestine itself.
Overdose of laxatives leads to gastrointestinal tract damage, which is difficult to repair.
It didn't help with my colon (but helped my bladder issues tremendously, so we kept it in).
The remaining minerals, water and unwanted food materials are then passed to the large intestine. Now, the body is designed in such a manner that it is sure to make up for the lost water weight when one begins to consume water normally, without intake of laxatives.
This damage results in loss of essential minerals and fat from the body, leading to weak bones. Sometimes I get the crampy feeling that I'm about to have diarrhea but it never happens as I'm so impacted (except overflow after a few months). The only issues I get are cramping sometimes but that's usually if they haven't worked the day before. I ended up having to have a colectomy (3 surgeries in one: colectomy, rectal prolapse repair, & pelvic hernia repair). Tried picolax & a dissolvable sachet one before but they didn't do anything so ended up compacted.
While the end results of laxatives may fool you into thinking they are assisting in weight loss, long-term use will cause adverse effects. Thus, people taking laxatives for weight loss should comprehend the fact that laxatives are not safe. Before the surgery I had a bm maybe once every 2-3 weeks (but I didn't know that wasn't normal bc I've never had a discussion with anyone about the frequency of BM's and because I've only gone once every 2-3 weeks for as long as I can remember).
The biopsy of my colon showed that over half the cells weren't functioning at all, which basically means that my colon barely worked and that it might be paralyzed (possibly GP related)?

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