How are laxatives able to take effect so quickly?

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Growing up I was taught that it takes the digestive system around 24 hours to process food on ‘normal setting’.

However, anyone who has ever accidentally eaten a tonne of free sugar candy and/or got Montezuma’s Revenge will attest to the diarrhoea explosion happening very soon after consumption of the unwelcome ingredients.

But how is the journey from food passing the tonsils become diarrhoea so fast? Isn’t the process from stomach to small and large intestine meant to take longer?

In: 3

It’s your body’s way of getting rid of toxins. As soon as the body identifies something as a toxin, it evacuates *everything*. Yeah, the trip through is supposed to take longer, but that’s a special circumstance. Gotta get rid of the nasty stuff fast.

As for laxatives, it depends what kind it is. Some speed up the digestive process, some cause an evacuation response, some just bulk things up to make it move along better.

Your body breaks down most of the food in your stomach and absorbs nutrients and water through your intestines. As the water is absorbed, the material traveling through our intestines begins to harden into a solid poop. When you ingest a laxative (or Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears) your body skips through the absorption phase and releases all of the waste before the water can be removed, leading to the liquid consistency of diarrhea.