Medical experts advise that laxatives should not be used as a remedy for weight loss. According to National Eating Disorders, the idea that laxatives do anything to assist the body with losing weight is a myth. Abusing laxatives is dangerous and potentially causes one or more serious health complications
Laxatives are designed to help people with mild to moderate constipation. Used correctly, they provide short-term relief by loosening stools so they pass more easily through the bowels, according to Medline Plus. Laxatives have never been officially recommended for weight loss. In fact, laxatives have no direct impact on how the body processes fat and calories, according to National Eating Disorders.
Laxatives work mainly in the large intestine, but food is digested through the small intestine. National Eating Disorders states that most food that is eaten is absorbed into the body long before the laxatives have time to work. Laxatives do, however, eliminate various amounts of water from the body, causing quick dehydration. This loss of water makes it appear as if the body has lost weight. However, this lost weight returns as soon as a glass of water or other liquid is consumed.
Abusing laxatives leads to an unhealthy dependence that damages the colon and causes a critical loss of minerals and nutrients the body needs to function properly, according to the Consumer Health Information Corporation.