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Will Taking Citrucel Help Me Lose Weight?

author image Carolyn Robbins
Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.
Will Taking Citrucel Help Me Lose Weight?
Water loss related to laxative use can cause your weight to fluctuate. Photo Credit: Paul Vasarhelyi/iStock/Getty Images

Citrucel is intended to safely alleviate constipation and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Using Citrucel improperly for weight loss can cause problems, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. If you want to slim down, talk to your physician about a developing a diet and exercise plan tailored to your unique needs.

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An Aid for Constipation

Citrucel, or methycellulose, is a bulk-forming laxative that comes in powdered and capsule preparations. Bulk-forming laxatives draw water into the gastrointestinal tract, making stools soft and easy to pass. Citrucel isn't usually habit-forming, so it is used to relieve constipation and maintain regular, healthy bowel patterns.

No Magic Solution

Using laxatives for weight loss is ineffective and potentially dangerous. People often take laxatives with the mistaken idea that the medicine will rush food through the digestive tract, preventing the absorption of fat and calories. In actuality, NEDA explains, laxatives work in the large intestine after nutrients have already been absorbed in the small intestine. Any weight you might lose by taking laxatives is water weight that you will regain once you stop using them.

Citrucel Risks

Although Citrucel is one of the tamer laxatives, it still has side effects. Common reactions to methylcellulose include gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and nausea. Rare but serious side effects include vomiting, difficulty swallowing and debilitating abdominal pain.

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