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What exactly do LAXATIVES do?


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Can they clean out your system of food? Like a detox or cleanse? Like say you had a binge, but you don't want the food inside your body because it's hurting you.

I am fully aware that:

  • Laxatives do NOT take away the calories eaten
  • They dehydrate you which means you need to drink lots of water if you consume them
  • If I ever take them, I should take a vitamin tablet/chewable and maybe vitamin water to replace electrolytes 

Besides that I don't know much and I suppose I could use a lecture about them :)

11 Replies (last)

Erm.. From what I know, they just draw the fluids that are already in your bowel to your.. deposits, to make it easier to go to the bathroom. That's why when you use laxatives, it's important to drink plenty of water so they're able to do this successfully. And that's why, if you don't drink plenty of fluids or if you take laxatives in excess, it's unhealthy.

But, taken as directed, they don't significantly increase the rate of your digestion, so taking laxatives after a binge would be completely pointless unless you genuinely have issues on the toilet due to the volume of waste.

I once took laxatives after a binge because I thought it would help flush the bloat and food out quicker. What happened was I had a stomach-ache for a night and the next day I had diarrhoea. Like the above said, it just helps with easier flow, but doesn't make digestion faster. It would only be of any use if the food you ate was the kind to make you very constipated. But even then, you could just eat a few extra prunes, or wait an extra day of 'normal' eating.

Original Post by all4you:

Can they clean out your system of food? Like a detox or cleanse? 

 

no. but neither can a detox or a cleanse.

Laxatives are for constipation. The refuse that's in the colon-rectum area is just that - refuse, stuff that cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream via the small intestine wall. Eliminating it does not decrease in any way the caloric intake, it's supposed to be out sooner or later.

I attempted to "cleanse" myself using laxatives. I wouldn't recommend it. I wanted to go back to normal the moment I barely made it home while waiting at the bus stop across the street. I was trying to make it back after chewing a couple bites of a peach...the laxatives were cleaning me right out.

I didn't feel any cleaner after the hours spent in the bathroom. :-(

Laxatives don't clean food out of your stomach... it clears poop out of your intestine.  So if you binged and dont want the food in there anymore... then you have to wait until you poop.  And if you haven't done that in a few days, then try a laxative... or an enema.  haha good luck!

Looking at laxatives as a solution to binge eating is a sign of a problem. 

Laxatives are not something to play around with.  Changing your diet to be balanced is a great idea. Laxatives not only do not eliminate the calories from what you've eaten but depending on the type of laxative you take and when you take it can eliminate the chance for you to get any additional nutrition from what you've eaten.

http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_condition s/body_basics/digestive_system.html#

Medications that are laxatives or have laxative properties should be used cautiously and preferably in consultation with your physician.  One overdose or misuse of a laxative has the potential to kill you or leave you focusing on a badly damaged digestive system for the rest of your life.  Personally, I prefer digestive matters to take care of themselves with little thought or effort on my part, the idea of having to wear depends or carefully manage my diet for excretion purposes is sufficiently repellent.

Foods that have laxative properties are an entirely different matter.  You can eat them in moderation and they do help your body do it's job in addition to supply good nutrition.  Eating nothing but foods with laxative properties is just not a good idea.

 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/1027 9.php

The following foods may act as laxatives. They are more effective at preventing constipation than treating it:

Almonds, Aloe Vera, Apples/Apple Juice, Artichokes, Bananas, Basil, Beets, Blueberry, Carob, Chicory, Chios Mastic(gum), Cranberry, Coconut, Coffee, Cornmeal, Dandelion, Dates, Dried apricots, Endive, Fenugreek, Figs, Flaxseed, Grapes, Kale, Liquorice, Mangos, Molasses, Oranges, Papayas, Parsley, Peaches/Apricots, Pears, Persimmons, Pineapple, Plums, Prunes/Prune Juice, Rhubarb, Rutabagas, Soybeans, Strawberry, Tamarind, Tangerine, Tea, Tomato, Tomato Juice, Vanilla, Walnuts, Watercress, Winter Squash, Yams, Olive oil.

 

Original Post by calisun21:

Laxatives don't clean food out of your stomach... it clears poop out of your intestine.  So if you binged and dont want the food in there anymore... then you have to wait until you poop.  And if you haven't done that in a few days, then try a laxative... or an enema.  haha good luck!

Since your body will supply a new set of excretions in due course it seems incredibly ridiculous to me to risk damaging your bowel system if you don't have a problem.  If you are having a problem please consult your doctor instead of self-medicating.

Original Post by smwhipple:

Original Post by calisun21:

Laxatives don't clean food out of your stomach... it clears poop out of your intestine.  So if you binged and dont want the food in there anymore... then you have to wait until you poop.  And if you haven't done that in a few days, then try a laxative... or an enema.  haha good luck!

Since your body will supply a new set of excretions in due course it seems incredibly ridiculous to me to risk damaging your bowel system if you don't have a problem.  If you are having a problem please consult your doctor instead of self-medicating.

 sorry about that-- what I meant by my post is essentially what ur saying-- laxatives are for when you can't go to the bathroom on your own... NOT to make-up for a binge.  If the OP is looking to make-up for a binge, then I DO NOT suggest laxatives.  However, if they haven't had a bowel movement in several days-- thats what they're meant for... all I meant by it.  I see my message wasn't clear.

EDIT: and I agree-- laxatives aren't something to mess around with.  If you binged, your body should be able to get rid of it on its own.

Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh there.  ;-)

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