Rectal Leaking Caused by Diet Pills

If I were to tell you that the weight loss industry is one of the most profitable industries in the United States, would you believe me? If not, then you are sorely mistaken. Due to the dramatic increase in obese and overweight Americans, the weight loss market is expected to reach sales of $586 billion or more by 2014 (Source).

One of the most popular weight loss products are diet pills. These “magical” little capsules seem harmless enough, and with outlandish weight loss claims, to many these pills are an answer to prayer. Unfortunately, the majority of diet pills are far from a miracle. Along with not delivering “promised” results, diet pills can cause adverse side effects, such as rectal leaking, which can cause severe complications.

What Causes Rectal Leaking?

The primary cause of rectal leaking are the ingredients found within a diet pill. Some of the most popular diet pills in the industry are classified as lipase inhibitors, which work by preventing dietary fats from being absorbed and digested by your intestines (Source). Since incoming fats are not broken down by your digestive tract, they accumulate as an oily substance in your intestines and are evacuated with fecal matter. Over time, if enough oily matter is accumulated it almost acts as a fecal lubricant.

Along with this type of rectal side effect, diet pills may also contain ingredients known to stimulate your intestines, which may cause uncontrollable or intense bowel movements (Source).

Is It Preventable?

While rectal leaking due to diet pills may not be completely preventable among all patients, you can reduce the likelihood of rectal leaking by monitoring your fat intake. For example, the widely popular diet pill Alli, or orlistat, instructs users to not eat more than 30 percent of your caloric intake from fat sources; however, even eating less than 30 percent fat you may still experiencing “oily spotting,” which is how the product manufacturers gently describe this side effect (Source).

References Used:
Market Research News: Global Market for Weight Loss Worth $586.3 Billion…
Mayo Clinic: Over-the-Counter Weight Loss Pills
MedlinePlus: Orlistat
St. Louis Psychologists and Counseling Information and Referral: Weight Loss Medications

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