Want to know if laxatives are safe for use as part of your slimming plan? Laxatives are drugs that help your body to expel waste, or feces.
They are normally used in order to counteract constipation. While some laxatives can supplement the dietary fibre in your slimming plan or normal eating regime, allowing for regular bowel movements, others are powerful stimulants which can be harmful if not taken for medical reasons under the supervision of your doctor.
So how can you tell which laxatives are safe to include as a regular part of your diet, and which ones can lead to serious, undesirable side-effects?
There are several different types of laxatives on the market. Bulk producing agents are very mild and can be included as part of a healthy daily diet. They work by increasing your intake of dietary fibre, which results in bulky stools that retain an appropriate amount of water. They promote a healthy intestinal system by keeping bowel movements regular, and can be used as a fibre supplement if your current eating regime doesn't meet your needs. Some commercial brand names for this product include Psyllium Husk, Metamucil, Citucel and apples.
Other types of this product that are only suitable for medical use to combat constipation or other intestinal problems include stool softeners, such as Colace or Diocto; Lubricants, such as Milk of Magnesia or Epsom Salts; Saline, such as Dibasic or Sodium Biphospate; Hyperosmotic Agents, such as Glycerin Suppositories or Lactulose; and Stimulants, such as Castor Oil.
Individuals with psychological eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia are known to abuse these products to promote weight loss, which is extremely dangerous. Not only does the abuse lead to malnourishment, prolonged usage can lead to intestinal paralysis, IBS or pancreatitis. If you are considering using these products, please consult your doctor.