The People's Perspective on Medicine

Laxatives And Diuretics No Way To Control Weight

Q. My niece takes laxatives and diuretics weekly to stay in drill team weight range. Is this dangerous?
A. Both laxatives and diuretics (water pills) can deplete the body of essential minerals. If potassium and magnesium drop too much, she could suffer muscle cramps or even irregular heart rhythms. This could be especially dangerous if she is marching in warm weather, when sweating might cause further mineral loss.

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    About the Author
    Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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