Diuretics and laxatives are often used to decrease water weight and bloating, resulting in feelings of short-term and immediate weight loss.

How do Diuretics and Laxatives Work?

These supplements work by increasing the body’s bowel activity, while preventing the large intestine from absorbing most dietary foods consumed. While both substances are designed to eliminate waste from the body, the only material that is lost is fluid, so an individual may feel as though they have lost weight; however, this feeling is temporary, as the body will soon react and begin to retain water with 48 to 72 hours. As a result of this reactionary water retention, individuals often feel bloated, while furthermore experience feelings of weight gain.

What are Diuretics?

A diuretic is a drug that increases the rate of body-waste elimination, specifically by speeding up the production and release of urine. While diuretics are available in a variety of categories, they all serve to increase the excretion of water and fluid from the body. Popular diuretics include pills such as Aqua-Ban, Xpel, among many others available at drug stores.

What are Laxatives?

While laxatives are most popularly known in pill or supplement form, they are also found naturally in foods. In pill or supplement form, laxatives are intended to treat constipation. Laxatives speed up the elimination process of undigested food in the large intestine and colon. Popular laxatives include pills such as Senna, Slimming Tea, Dandelion Root, along with many other brands and supplements.

Are Diuretics and Laxatives Effective for Weight Loss?

Based on research and medical information, these supplements and pills are not safe nor effective for weight loss. Since both products actually only stimulate the loss of wastes and fluids, these pills do not increase any type of fat loss.

Diuretic and Laxative Abuse

Research reports that diuretics and laxatives are commonly abused in an attempt to promote weight control or weight loss. Since these products are only intended to stimulate the large bowel to empty, abusers of these drugs eventually over-use the products so that they are only losing fluids. This fluid loss actually then causes severe fluid retention, which can be perceived as “weight gain.” The body reacts to the extreme loss of water and waste by striving to hold onto fluids for physical protection.

Potential Side Effects of Diuretics and Laxatives:

  • Gassy Diarrhea
  • Potential permanent damage to the GI Tract
  • Weakening and softening of bones with long-term use or short-term misuse
  • Watery stools
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Feelings of urgency with bowel movements
  • Nausea
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Symptoms of withdrawal upon discontinuation of use

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