Diet supplements and laxatives: Doing more harm than good?

Monday, August 24th, 2020 00:00 |
A woman measures her waist. Photo/Courtesy

Christine Nderitu @dietfity1

Using diet pills and laxatives is among many unhealthy methods of weight management shown to increase risk of eating disorders. 

Additionally, use of diet pills has other health effects including high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, increased heart rate, rectal bleeding, and sleeping disorders.

Despite these effects and regular discouragement to use them by healthcare providers, they are still popular among young adults and youths, especially women.

Now a lot of these pills and supplies are thriving because of faulty or non-existent systems of regulation.

Today, we have a lot of ‘wellness experts’ selling weight loss supplements without necessary assessment or giving proper prescription.

Consequently, these products have become a lot more accessible to the extent of abuse.

Abuse includes taking supplements without a proper prescription and/or when you don’t need to, and without the supervision of a certified wellness practitioner.

This also applies if you are normal weight or underweight, yet you take a diet supplement not recommended for you or if  you combine them with laxatives or diuretics, using multiple weight loss stimulants or combining pills with other unhealthy strategies such as smoking and diet adjusting to accommodate alcohol, skipping meals or food restriction, choosing to take only shots or exercising and self-induced vomiting to offset calories prior to a planned drinking event.

Many factors affect weight control, including certain diseases or  meds, genes, environment,and mental wellbeing.

As such diet supplements are not one fits all.  Just because someone used a supplement and lost weight does not mean it will work for you and that since they needed supplements does not mean you also need to take them. 

Seek help from a qualified practitioner who will be able to guide you on what is safe and practical.

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