Q:

Can you lose weight by taking laxatives?

A:

Quick Answer

Taking laxatives causes weight loss. However, the weight loss is not permanent, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, and laxative use does not help weight management.

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Full Answer

The weight loss that occurs with laxative use is caused by stimulating the bowels to release the contents prematurely, explains the National Eating Disorders Association. The reduction of body weight is from the loss of water, minerals, electrolytes, indigestible fiber and excess waste waiting to be eliminated. As soon as the body is re-hydrated, the weight returns. Using laxatives does not prevent the body from absorbing calories before the food is eliminated from the bowels.

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