Want to lose a few pounds? We here ya. Yet you gotta save it healthy. Part weight loss techniques are unproven or simply plain risky, consisting of laxatives.

You are watching: Can stool softeners help you lose weight

Lots of persons think laxatives room an easy, fast way to shed pounds. However IRL laxatives space not an reliable — or also safe — way to lose weight. This is the lowdown (along with better weight lose solutions).

Share on PinterestGetty Images
Laxatives can loosen your stool or stimulate bowel movements. This helps your turd make its grand poo-debut with much less discomfort or straining. A 2012 research review confirmed that many poopers take laxatives because that constipation or prior to a medical procedure.

Different kinds of laxatives

There’s a kind of laxative because that every crappy issue. Here’s how they work:

Lubricants (Fleet): Oil (usually mineral oil) coats your bowels and also poo. This softens your stool, make it much easier to pass.

Stimulants (Dulcolax, Senokot): they contract your intestinal wall surface muscles to assist move your stool along.

Stool softeners (Colace, Surfak): girlfriend guessed it! these laxatives soften your poop to alleviate straining and also constipation.

Osmotics (Milk the Magnesia, MiraLax): They transfer moisture from nearby body tissue to your colon. This soft stool and triggers bowel movements.

Bulking agents (Metamucil, Benefiber, Citrucel): these fiber additional absorb fluid in your intestines to bulk up and also soften her turds.

Laxatives (might) assist you lose water weight

Some laxatives help turds absorb an ext water. This helps you poop castle out much more easily. However with this method, water from various other parts of her body gets flushed down the toilet right in addition to Mr. Hanky.

So, friend might suffer some short-lived weight loss — yet it’ll just be water weight. Laxatives have actually no impact on yes, really fat.

Dehydration station

Lots the laxatives draw water from the remainder of her body into your colon. That’s why dehydration is a super common side effect. You should slay her water intake while taking laxatives. This can help prevent a thirsty trap.

Here room some symptoms to look the end for:

thirstnauseafatigueheadachesreduced urination

You might build an electrolyte imbalance

You’ve prob heard about electrolytes and also know the they’re important. Well, the rumors room true. Electrolytes are substances that conduct electrical power when dissolved in water. A 2004 research study review showed that they’re vital for your cells and tissues to role on fleek.

Some common electrolytes are:


Laxative use — especially when abused — can lead come an electrolyte imbalance. This can gain dangerous.

One small 1994 examine of 24 civilization found that laxatives deserve to cause significant changes to urinary sodium and also potassium levels. A bigger 2012 study of 2,270 people showed that laxatives increase the as whole risk of electrolyte issues.

Symptoms include:

thirstfatigueweaknessmuscle achesheart palpitations

More significant side results include:


Laxative abuse is once you take it laxatives an ext often 보다 you have to in order to lose weight. It have the right to be really dangerous and also is also fairly common.

A 1995 study review showed that laxative abuse occurs in an approximated 4 percent the people. A 2012 research study review proved that laxative abuse is usual in people with an eat disorder (ED) like anorexia or bulimia nervosa.

A 2002 study additionally suggested that laxative abuse is typical in obese and overweight teenagers. But keep in mind, anyone deserve to abuse laxatives.

Laxative abuse risks

Laxative abuse have the right to lead to long-term and even life-threatening conditions. These include:

dehydrationintestinal damagechronic constipationelectrolyte imbalanceshort- or long-term damage to her digestive system

Laxative abuse symptoms

Laxative abuse can reason a huge range of next effects. You can experience multiple symptoms at once.

Minor symptoms include:


PSA: don’t dismiss boy symptoms. They could be a warning sign that something is off.

More serious symptoms include:

faintingbloody stoolheart palpitationsmuscle weaknessfeeling lightheadedshaking or shiveringchronic stomach painintense ab crampingfluctuations in blood pressure

Is it addictive?

Laxatives space usually for sure when offered in the quick term. However some think long-term use can lead to dependency. What does the science say?

Laxative addiction is most likely emotional, not physical. There’s little evidence to earlier the idea the physical addiction is possible. The possibility you’ll prosper intolerant is also unlikely. But more research is needed.


If laxatives room affecting your health and wellness or happiness, get aid ASAP. Permanent use have the right to lead come dangerous (and occasionally irreversible) side effects. Just remember, you’re no alone ❤️. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Over there are lots of amazing resources that can help.

A good an initial step is to chat with your doctor. You can also see a trained mental health expert or shot a treatment app.

Not prepared to see a doctor? The national Institute of medicine Abuse uses a range of cost-free services. You have the right to reach out to the problem Abuse and Mental health and wellness Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) national Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).

There are also extr resources available online choose counseling services, hotlines, and treatment options.

Here room some more potential side effects of laxative abuse:

Liver damage: This is rare but possible. One 1975 study discovered that laxative use contributed to liver damages in one participant.

Kidney damage: A 1994 case report proved that overusing laxatives have the right to lead come kidney failure.

GI damage: A 2001 study verified that laxative abuse can mess with GI function and damages your pancreas.

Rhabdomyolysis: A 2010 situation report confirmed that this problem is linked with laxative abuse. It’s the an outcome of fast muscle tissue deterioration which releases harmful proteins right into your blood.

If you’re using laxatives to shed weight — or if you’re party eating, purging, or restricting — seek expert help. They can help you come up with a recovery plan. There space so numerous safer, much better ways to lose weight without risking her health.

Here space some safe and proven means to aid you shed weight:

Up her fruit and veggie game. They’re short in calories, but rich in fiber and nutrients. Bonus: One study confirmed that eating much more produce is linked to a lower body weight.

Ditch the sugar. Delicious? Yes. Processed snack food? likewise yes. Processed sugar is high in calories, but has small nutritional value. 2001 study verified that drinking sugary drinks might be linked to obesity. Opt because that a healthy sweetener prefer stevia.

Pump up the volume on her workout routine. Physical task — also taking walks — can aid you shed weight. A 2013 study review showed that working out can aid you store the load off when you hit your healthy target.

Try to practice portion control. You have the right to still eat all your fave foods. Simply enjoy lock in smaller portions. That way you deserve to lose load without feeling deprived.

Be pro-protein.

See more: Can I Catch Coronavirus From Packages, Questions And Answers On Covid

A high protein breakfast is a great way to start your day. That’s what the science claims anyway. A 2010 study showed that a high protein breakfast reduce appetite so you can avoid the afternoon snack attack.