Health & Support
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I'm not completely sure how laxatives work. Say you eat a whole cake, then have laxatives afterwards. Will the laxatives make you 'dispell' all of the cake you ate, or just the food that has already digested from food you ate earlier in the day, etc.?

And I apologize if this is in the wrong forum, but this seemed most appropriate to me. (:
Edited Apr 09 2007 03:04 by united2gether
Reason: moved to new Health & Support forum
14 Replies (last)
Do not get into using Laxatives.  You will get really bad cramps that make you feel like your insides are falling out.  If you take too many your body will rely on them and not work right.
Just think of today as a learning experience and write it off.
Start over tomorrow fresh.
I've never tried nor plan on trying laxatives unless I go like a week without going. I was just curious of their effects. I know laxative abuse is associated with ED's. Thanks for the concern, though, candy. I should have posted this in my original message, and I apologize. :)

So once food gets to the uh.. not good with biology.. poo place, are all of the calories absorbed in the body, therefore making the use of laxatives pointless? I just want to understand this - I've wondered for a while.
Laxatives don't make food proceed more quickly into your bowels from your stomach, that's for sure. They just make your bowels super busy for a time, passing on material at a very rapid pace, but all this will do is prevent nutrients from absorbing into your body (because some important nutrients are absorbed from the bowel - if they have the time.)

Also, besides severe cramps, your body will react in another way, too: the less nutrients it can get, the hungrier you will be. Purging by laxatives triggers the "starvation" reflex: your body will feel that it is sabotaged. So eat-take laxatives-binge. An endless vicious cycle. DOn't do it. (I'm speaking from experience...) 

If you have had too many calories - well, that does not mean you should punish your body by depriving it from from the valueable vitamins and minerals that it could absorb along with the calories. 
yeah i've actually wondered, too. you'd think everything would have to be digested before it was shoved out the door by mr. chocolax. :D do you end up with a half-digested cookie in the toilet? sorry if thats gross. :D /yrdd
Not sure if this link will help you or not.  It is sort of biology 101.
yes, essentially you have it right.

digestion starts in the mouth when you chew & mix in saliva.  bile acids are added in the tummy and make food small enough to pass through to the small intestines where the food and nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream. 

The extra food the cells can't use for energy is stored as body fat for later when your body needs the energy but you aren't eating or digesting food (like when you sleep ;) 

The stuff that can not be absorbed through the walls of the intestines (like unsoluble fiber and waste products) is passed through the rest of the intestines (large intestines and the colon) and pushed on out of the body...

laxatives just speed up pushing the rest of the leftover stuff out... (unsoluble fiber and waste products)...  Your body still absorbs the food it can use...

so it seems like you lose weight because the extra stuff is pushed on through.... 

but you don't really.  As soon as you quit the laxative, the process slows back to normal and the scale will show that stuff that is just passing through ;)
Edited Apr 09 2007 03:28 by united2gether
Eating a cake and then taking a laxitive does not magically make the calories in the cake dissapear.  Your body can also become laxative dependent.  No one want to go through life having to take a pill just so they can poo.

There are no magical pills or fixes.  Eat a healthy diet, get daily exercise, and you will lose the weight.  Don't be fooled into habits that will ultimately harm your body because you are looking for an easy out.  I started my new lifestyle Jan 14th, I've lost 32 lbs so far, and I certainly didn't do it by taking laxatives.
If you are not prescribed laxitives by a doctor, then don't take them.  I have been on about 100 different laxitives in the past (by doctor's advise) and each time, I can honestly tell you I felt like I was dying.

The cramps, bloating, indigestion, nausea from dealing with the pain of the cramps, and just plain sick feeling that comes with laxitives is not something anybody should want on purpose. And laxitives should only be the last option perscribed by a doctor as it can make your bowels sluggish and dependent on the stimulation given by the laxitive.

If you have digestive issues (aka constipation for a few days or weeks at a time) it is much better to take a stool softener rather than a laxitive. Stool softeners are non addictive where the bowel is concerned. The stool softeners allow more water to be preasent in the stool thus allowing the stool to pass easier, (sorry if I added too much detail)

If you don't have any of these conditions, then you shouldn't be using laxitives or stool softeners because many times they can do more harm than good especially if you don't need them for medical reasons.
There was a study done with two groups: they all ate a large meal, about 1500 calories. On average, the lax users only took in 100 calories less than the non-lax group. So it's really not worth all the pain and hassle (and there's a lot of that).
     Yes. BAD idea to try these things. I, myself, have a very sensative stomach. I took them one morning after eating a left over pizza from the night before and a cup of crystal light.. About 10 minutes later, I had the worst nasuea. So i tried to lay down for a little bit, and then about another 10 minutes later i was throwing up all my liquids and little bits of pizza. So then i thought that was the end to it all... But nope. Then came the diarreah. My stomach felt like it was just being squeezed till everything came out. Its no fun. Unless you want to be on the toilet every 5-10 minutes go for it! Not so hot to take after eating out with a cute date.

     Besides all that, i cant imagine how bad it is for your body. Major dehydration. And less nutrients. Just take everyone word for it, and dont try it! You're better off feeling the pain from working out.
no to mention that if you get used to using laxatives, you can damage your system permanently and never GO without them.  my mom works w/ the elderly and she has seen this a lot - not pretty when a woman in her 90's is addicted to laxatives to "go" but also doesn't have an appetite due to age.

they'll also give you the sweats, cramps, nausea, dehydration, malnutrition, on and on and on...
I am 50/50 on the benefits of laxatives. In the past I have heard "take them it will make you feel skinnier." yeah ummm thats because you are loosing waste all at once. BUT if you haven't gone to the washroom in a while (2 or 3 days) and you are going on a diet. I think it wouldn't/couldn't hurt to drink a ton of water and use a laxative for 3 days. I think it cleases the body of .. old stuff.

I agree. Laxatives are used for improving Gastric Juices, relieving Constipation, and regulating Cab also help avoid toxic build-Up.

Original Post by sbjernestad:

I think it cleases the body of .. old stuff.

 Unless someone is actually very badly constipated there is no 'old stuff' to get rid of and no 'toxic build up'.  The idea that the intestine is a dirty organ is something of a myth put around by the peddlars of colonic irrigation and preparations that claim to 'cleanse' or 'detox'.

If, as in the original example, you eat a cake and take a laxative, what your body will remove more quickly is the waste matter that's already been processed in the preceding 24 hours.

If you're constipated, try the natural route of eating more fresh fruit, drinking more water and taking some regular exercise.  If you're still constipated an over-the-counter medication can help.  And if it doesn't, see your doctor.  But no-one should ever take them thinking they will 'get rid of' a cake.


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