Lose weight by overusing laxatives? This is the new Tiktok trend! Be careful if you are tempted: our gastroenterologist Pauline Guillouche explains to us why laxatives as an anti-weight gain weapon are not recommended at all.
Laxatives to lighten up, this is the solution currently offered by many influencers today on the Tiktok network for rapid weight loss, and almost effortlessly. So much so that the demand for treatment against constipation is increasing sharply in pharmacies.
More than a billion views on the network
Although there is not yet a shortage, several brands in the United States (Dulcolax, Haleon, MiraLax, etc.) have announced that they are experiencing a significant increase in demand, faced with Internet users who wish to try this method. “TikTok influencers are making teenagers believe that laxatives will help them lose weight. Their videos have been viewed more than a billion times on social media. Hundreds of thousands of young people are emptying store shelves. Which means those who really need it can no longer get it.” indicated the Daily Mail on September 14.
In addition to weight loss, laxatives are also touted to prevent feelings of bloating and the onset of uncomfortable constipation.
@tiktokpoopdoc Over-the-counter laxatives 101 #guthealth #guttok #guthealthtiktok #guthealthtips #constipationtips #constipationrelief #laxatives ♬ Cruel Summer – Taylor Swift
“It doesn’t work for weight loss”
A magic formula? Far from it, replies our Dr. Pauline Guillouche, gastroenterologist, better known under the pseudonym @pauline.hepato on Instagram. Because this trend would be both dangerous for health and quite simply… ineffective.
“Laxatives are prescribed for very specific reasons. Particularly to people who actually suffer from constipation. If the idea is to take laxatives to avoid ‘absorbing’ calories, from a scientific point of view, it doesn’t work just not like that” she warns us.
More problematic, this trend would also be dangerous for health, as the expert confirms:
“Typically, Dulcolax for example is a so-called ‘irritant’ laxative, which will cause intestinal contractions, which we will use in particular cases but not in the long term. As for the so-called ‘osmotic’ laxatives, the principle of which is based on a call for water in the colon, to obtain liquid stools, they can lead to dehydration, loss of potassium and therefore dangerous hypokalemia, or even l ‘renal failure” she continues.
Without counting on one last non-negligible problem: “Perhaps we should also remember here that suffering from diarrhea, and having numerous bowel movements per day, still remains unpleasant socially speaking, especially for an effect that will not be there!”
Keeping an efficient transit, instructions for use
Our lifestyles would also be involved in this new medicinal approach. Thus according to the American media, fresh fruits and vegetables have become unaffordable, sedentary lifestyles or on the contrary hybrid and too much movement will ultimately impact our transit. In this context, the treatment solution would seem simpler.
But for our expert, there are simple habits to maintain good transit, without gaining weight. “The best diet available today is the Mediterranean diet, based on fruits and vegetables, vegetable oils, without cold cuts, red meats or even sweets. It remains a simple diet to put in place, effortless and inexpensive. she recalls.
The other imperative is moving enough: “But including physical activity in your daily life is not necessarily a constraint: it can be based on walking more when possible, taking the stairs, getting off the metro one station earlier… These are not drastic measures , but they allow you to stay in shape. And lighter.”