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Laxatives…Benefits and Side Effects

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Laxative benefits and we well know the hustle and bustle of daily life, bad eating habits and lack of exercise can cause discomfort and illness, today we will talk about digestive problems and how the use of laxatives has become more popular, but how safe are they? Keep reading and we will clarify all your doubts.

What are laxatives used for?

They are used to prevent and relieve constipation, when there is difficulty in evacuating correctly, as well as other gastrointestinal discomfort. Currently, there are many types of over-the-counter laxatives on the market.

Laxatives for Poor Digestion or to lose weight?

There are many types of laxatives, but their main function is to soften fecal matter for proper evacuation. Constipation can occur due to causes such as lack of fiber in our daily diet, lack of fluids, little physical activity and as a consequence of some diseases such as diabetes and hypothyroidism or the most common and famous lazy bowel syndrome. Below I will tell you what types of laxatives are, how to take them and where you can buy them and how advisable it is to use them to lose weight. Keep reading!

Types of laxatives:

  • Dough formers: they are those that absorb water, to soften the stool and increase its volume.
  • Oral stimulants: Activate contractions of intestinal muscles to eliminate feces.
  • Rectal suppositories: Like oral suppositories, they activate muscle contractions.
  • Oral osmotics: these introduce water into the colon to facilitate evacuations.
  • Oral softeners: These are those that add moisture to fecal matter.

What are the benefits of consuming laxatives?

  • They regulate intestinal transit.
  • They facilitate digestion.
  • They eliminate swelling and heaviness due to the elimination of waste.
  • They increase fluid reduction.

How are laxatives taken?

It is always recommended to consume them at night, approximately an hour after dinner and before going to sleep to have the benefits and effects in the morning when you wake up, and you should also consume enough liquid to avoid dehydration.

How long do you take laxatives?

Sodium phosphate laxatives should only be taken once a day and not exceeded for more than three days. As for natural laxatives, it will depend on the degree of constipation, although their abuse is not recommended.

Risks and Side Effects:

  • Drug interaction: Laxatives can interact with some antibiotics or heart or bone medications, so consult your doctor before taking them.
  • Serious conditions: this occurs if the constipation is due to an intestinal obstruction or appendicitis.
  • Dehydration.
  • Nausea and vomiting if the recommended doses are exceeded.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue and tiredness.
  • Frequent use of laxatives can reduce the colon's ability to contract, making constipation worse.
  • Dependence on laxatives.


  • Children: Laxatives should never be administered to children under 6 years of age without consulting a doctor.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: the same in case of pregnancy and breastfeeding since some ingredients can pass through breast milk and cause diarrhea in the baby, always consult your doctor first.

Laxatives for weight loss

Although that is not their purpose, more and more people tend to use laxatives to lose weight, but how functional are they in that case? The main function is to speed up digestion, which is why one can mistakenly think which are auxiliary to combat overweight, and by losing fluids with bowel movements, a weight loss will be noticed, but this will be recovered when the fluids are ingested again, in addition to certain minerals and nutrients such as potassium, which can lead to loss. cause decompensation in the body.


"Because prevention is better than cure"

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