Detox teas that contain the ingredient Senna cause the bowels to have a laxative effect, which can make a user feel like they have lost weight because they feel empty. Charity Beat have linked detox teas to an increase of laxative abuse. Beat expressed their concerns in an interview with Dr Lauretta Ihonor , as they have fears that the teas are pushing people towards the eating disorder.
Beat outlined the dangers of misusing laxatives, and what could happen to the body if they are consumed over a long period of time, “there are numerous and long-term medical side effects of laxative abuse that can lead to serious health problems and even fatalities. People can suffer from heart, kidney, liver and bowel problems and can experience withdrawal symptoms in stopping the use of laxatives after a continued period.”
Using laxatives as a way to lose weight is not only dangerous, it is ineffective. Beat stated that, “the body still absorbs the calories and it is fluid and valuable vitamins and minerals which are lost.”
In the audio clip I spoke to Matt Smith, a personal trainer and a freelance health and fitness writer. Matt is all too familiar with detox teas as he wrote an article about them in 2014. I also spoke with Emily Gilbert, a coordinator at Southampton University’s branch of Student Minds. Emily leads a support group that helps those struggling with laxative abuse, and other eating disorders. Listen to what they had to say below.
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