Laxative Diet Works, But At What Cost? Advises Dr. Oz

2013-01-30 12:21

On a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz introduces viewers to a problem that he states has been hidden and clouded in shame and at its very core leads to abuse: women who go on a laxative diet to lose weight.

“Laxatives―millions of women are using them to lose weight and there’s a pretty good chance you or your friends are using them. Misuse can lead to irreversible physical damage, and cause the women who use them to spiral out of control,” says Dr. Oz as he tells viewers about one special guest named “Shanna” who on a laxative diet went from 260 pounds to 78 pounds. “This, is laxative dieting,” states Dr. Oz.

“I am a laxative addict,” states 42-year-old Shanna who tells a story shared by many women. Overweight as a child and teenager, she eventually grew to become an obese adult who could no longer bear the way she looked. Shanna began with a normal diet and exercise program to lose weight and was successful at losing approximately 120 pounds. However, she reached a plateau where no matter what she did, the additional pounds she wanted to lose would not come off with her diet and exercise plan. And then one day, she read somewhere about using laxatives to lose weight.

Also See: Rapid Weight Loss in 2 Weeks Diet Created by Dr. Oz

“I started by just taking 1 or 2 laxatives a day and then I needed to start taking more, and I went up to 10 or 12. Now my laxative use at nighttime has increased up to 30-40 pills…I wake up during the night anywhere from 2-5 times...I looked down and I saw blood in my urine… my stomach is just killing me and its miserable and I can’t sleep. I wish that I could just wake up normal,” says Shanna.

However, just saying no to laxatives once you’ve become addicted to them is not so easy as your body goes into a type of withdrawal when the laxatives stop.

“I’ve tried to cut back, but then you just bloat up and it’s an uncomfortable feeling. Everything gets hard like around your middle section, and then after a while you can’t eat or drink anything,” says Shanna.

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Dr. Oz explains that Shanna’s difficulty in going off laxatives and the pain she is in, is a result of when you take too much of anything like laxatives that winds up damaging the intestines―damage that then prevents your digestive system from working the way it should when you try to go back to a normal diet.


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I'm 17 years,from South Africa & I'm struggling with weight.I feel like resorting to laxatives,but I can't afford to lose my curves.But then again my arms are fat for my age,I don't gain weight at my abodominal areas.But my arms are a big problem.I'm using USN products,eating mostly healthy food and I exercise when I have the chance.But I just can't lose the weight.Please help
You kidding me? YouTube some videos on how to loose weight and gain muscle the healthy way. Did you even read the article? ?
You're such an asshole. It was just a question. Get a life and stop coming at people with questions
To get down to 78 pounds is extreme. However I'm looking to lose 20 lbs. & using laxatives to do so. Thanks for letting me know that laxatives do work!!!!!
Is it okay to take one laxative daily? I do not intend to be an addict, I just don't want the feeling of being bloated. So is one per day, okay? :)
No. It really is not a good idea. Eat fiber and roughage and let your bowels act normally.
I am 26 and 222Lbs i have lost 35Lbs in two months threw less than 600 calories a day and 6 hours of excersise but it has stopped working 2 weeks and have not lost a pound, I am concidering laxatives, I need a quick fix burning over 3500 calories a day isnt dropping a pound a day anymore and i have 21 days to drop 21Lbs
If you starve yourself of calories the body stores them. I know this from personal experience and soon you'll be exhausted. Have a week off exercise. Although laxatives (dulcolax or similar) should never be encouraged, if you're going to do it, take one after evening meal and be close to the bathroom for 10 hours. Expect stomach cramps and major discomfort but it might get u off that plateau as it did for me
The reason you're not losing weight is because you are actually putting your body in starvation mode. So, the 600 calories your body is getting is being stored because it thinks it is starving to death. I recommend eating 1200 calories a day considering your body burns more than that on its own just doing day to day things. Eat 6 small meals a day!
you need a spell checker. at 26 those words should not be hard to spell. I am sorry, but when I see someone looking at unhealthy ways to lose weight while using the grammar you use. I am not surprised that you don't research safer ways to diet. 600 cals a day is incredible unhealthy, once you lose all your weight, I am certain you will gain it back. There is no way you can maintain 6 hours of exersize on such low energy intake at your weight. 6 hours total? 6 hours a day? I and I don't think many other people believe you. The reason it stopped working is obvious is it not? You have been starving yourself. Your body is now storing all the calories you put into it. FOR FUCKS SAKES PEOPLE. Research a diet and stick to it. So so lazy
Haha, I found it funny to read your post criticizing someone's use of grammar with so many grammar errors. I never post comments but I had to this time. I hope that was on purpose to prove a point that no one takes you seriously when you cannot take the time to write following basic grammar rules. I didn't take you seriously; to me, you were only another person ranting on the Internet. The moment I read you bashing the person seeking advice I thought you were an arrogant ass. If you can't be kind then don't give advice. No one wants it from people who are just being mean about it.
You're criticizing someone else's grammar but you can't even spell exercise correctly? Are you serious??
to anyone that reads this i hope it saves you, laxatives are not what they seem, in a way they do get rid of weight, but water weight at which all the nutrients are carried and drained through you, reading your comments made me cry because i understand and i wish i could help you and show you, that you are beautiful, and your weight is just a number and that laxatives will only slowly start to kill you, i was stupid, i thought it didn't matter or affected anyone else but wrong, i enjoyed the pain they caused because i thought i deserved it, by pain i mean your heart regularly contracting and paralyzing in pain having palpitations, your ribs feel like they are caving, you become weak, and your digestive system just hurts so much, i have laid on the floor for ages not being able to move due to what it was doing, but i was addicted and couldn't stop. due to the effects i got toilet anxiety which made it worse because people realize something is going on so you try hide it i'm now finally able to use the toilet with people near (public and home). to this day 2 years after stopping i still have heart abnormalities, bowel dysfunction, my joints and bones are vulnerable and i'am very dietary healthy consuming a balanced and nutritious diet, vegan and avoid wheat partly because i have to because if i don't it makes me uncomfortably ill. i cant do hard exercise like i used to because i'm still warn out. the reality of it does not hit you until its too late. the quick route is never the right one, i learned the hard way hopefully so others don't, i wish you the best, and hope you awaken to what is important like family or how beautiful each day is, no matter how hard it seems immerse yourself in the moment and learn to love yourself because you only get one shot at being here and now with this identity before its gone, they say that the trick to losing weight is mentality, remaining happy and respecting your body and mind x
Thank you Nicole for your story! I am struggling with weight/body image and was considering using laxatives. I don't think I will do it now. It helps too read that people feel the same way you do and the outcome of it. It means a lot too me that you shared this
this wont kill me right? if i only take 1 laxative a day?
One laxative a day won't kill you but very quickly your tolerance will build up and you will need to take more and more to get the same effect.
I have started taking laxatives for my surgery in a few days. However, I have noticed that I am dropping weight a little quicker by taking the laxatives in a pill form and drinking the laxative powder as well. I realize this is not the right path to take, but until you all have walked in my morbidly obese body - please do not judge me! I have been too big for too long, and I am striving to live my life accordingly. If society was not so demanding, degrading, and disrespectful - I do not believe that so many individuals would utilize drastic measures to be thin. I am not looking to get addicted to laxatives, but I am looking to lose some weight!
I couldn't have said it better!! I totally agree with you!!
Sweetheart I am right there with you, good luck with your battle I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart!! Nobody has the right to judge you. Stay strong beautiful ;)
I was a normal weight my whole life, of course I was never satisfied and wanted to be smaller. Now I am 56 years old and have degenerative discs in my back, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and am a lung cancer survivor. I quit smoking of course, but really started piling the weight on after my Mom died. I weigh 173 pounds and it is causing my pain issues to be greatly exacerbated. My knees hurt, my back hurts,I'm depressed and want to start feeling good about myself again. After reading this about laxatives,. I have decided to give it a low dosage try every couple days. So far I am loving the fact that im not straining and going days without a bowel movement. My pain medication does that to me. It may not be the right way, but if it wound help me shed this weight Ive gained, I see nothing wrong with using it in moderation.
i have a reasonable goal and like the rest of these ladies i can stop before it kills me once the weight is off i wouldnt have a problem maintaining it. it's baby weight that i can seem to get rid of. i dont wanna be skinny i love my body but i'm engaged i have to be on point for my wedding dress and 1-2 a day seems like it'll do just enough. i can eat healthier and i enjoy excercise but i am using laxatives for an initial boost...a jump start
I take laxatives when I binge. I usually take between 15 and 30 after my binge. I love and hate the feeling of the bowl movement it causes. I hate taking them because they tastes weird...but I do it anyways. Today I had to skip class because I felt like I was going to throwup...and then my kidneys started hurting really badly. Then i came home ate a sandwich (only meal of the day) and took another 15. After reading this article...I don't think I'll ever take a laxative again. Instead drink SENNA TEA. it's comforting and isn't a quick laxative. It is just an herb that helps move the waste thru slowly. It is like eating a bean muffin...but in TEA form (:
I actually have a bowel condition that I have to take laxatives daily (usually 6 sachets of movical) but have another condition where I take opiates for the pain. Not sure which one is harming me more but am in a catch 22! I am actually gaining weight if anything!
I abused laxatives for over 2 years. I started using them because I always had issues with constipation and one day after about a week of not doing number 2 I actually got a tear down there. So every time I did number 2 it would hurt and I turned to laxatives until the tear healed. However I liked the empty feeling and soon was using them whenever I felt stuffed or over ate. Then I started using them whenever I had an event or party to attend as well. Soon I was using them daily..about 15 pills a day or more depending on my mood. Many times I was in terrible pain with cramps and vomitting and more than once I almost pooped myself. Cause the urge to use the bathroom can come in might think your done and three hours later at work your stomach is like nope and you expereince terrible cramps. Also after awhile the laxatives had the opposite stomach started to feel bloated all the time or more often than not. If I did not take laxatives sometimes I would get terrible stomach pains which later I found out was my gall bladder. So... The big question is did I lose weight? No. Laxatives are like crack..your always chasing those first few highs. The first time I actually lost seven pounds and was shocked!!!!! But as soon as I ate I gained it back and thus started a cycle...losing and gaining 7 pounds..sometimes I didnt lose any weight and sometimes only a pound or two and sometimes I would gain weight. Somehow you keep hoping to get another huge weight loss like the first time and it doesnt happen. I watched the show with the woman abusing laxatives on OZ...she does not eat ..well she eats close to nothing at all. She has anorexia..she would have lost the weight with or without the laxatives due to barely no calorie intake. Now abusing the laxatives and not eating is a quick way to kill yourself. I have stopped using laxatives..went to counseling..learned to love and accept myself..learned about healthy eating and take long walks..lost more weight than on laxatives and I dont fear another night of cramps and vomitting. Plus I met my partner during my journey when I was 220..yes at 160 thru excerise and diet..not laxatives.. He told me he didnt ever date a bigger girl but he was drawn to my confidence..he said when he first met me I walked in the room like I owned the room and that was super sexy. On laxatives and when I was over eating my self esteem was so low and I lacked that self love that I discovered later. So in short..laxatives will not get you where you want to go..nor will starvation. Start by loving yourself where you are right now and forgiving yourself for not being perfect and then take one step forward..its gonna be a long journey but its your journey.
I have a thyroid disease and from time to time I need to take laxatives. They make my liver very sick, I always feel nauseous after I take them, so much that I can't take a simple aspirin, that's how bad they are for the liver
I've been bloating for a while do to backup, it's deffinitly not fiber that's the issue since i take plenty of it, if i just do a regular dossage perscribed on the box and do this for a week to help clean out my system would that really be so damaging? just tryna regulate myself and go back to feeling normals