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Doctor insights on: Laxative Abuse

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Laxative Abuse (Overview)

Laxatives come in various types. Stimulant laxatives are potentially the most "dangerous" in that there is the potential to cause a weak or "cathartic" colon. In this condition, the colon becomes sluggish and ultimately unresponsive to laxatives. Laxative abuse is most common in young women trying to keep their weight down.


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What is laxative abuse?

What is laxative abuse?

Laxative Abuse: Laxative abuse is the continued use of laxatives for uses other than for the treatment of constipation. An example would be in the person who has an eating disorder who must feel the need to purge themselves after overeating. It is not uncommon for patients with anorexia to abuse laxatives. ...Read more

Laxative Abuse (Overview)

Laxatives come in various types. Stimulant laxatives are potentially the most "dangerous" in that there is the potential to cause a weak or "cathartic" colon. In this condition, the colon becomes sluggish and ultimately unresponsive to laxatives. Laxative abuse is most common in young women trying to keep their weight down.


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How common is laxative abuse?

More than you think: Two patient groups (both will deny laxative ingestion): bulemia nervosa (typically women 18-40), & surreptitious laxative abusers (usually women 40-60). "irritant" purgatives cause: melanosis coli (reversible pigmenting of colon lining), cathartic colon ("floppy" colon with limited muscle tone), & soap or chemical colitis (acute inflammation within hours of "cleansing" enema). Suspects need eval. ...Read more

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What are the effects of laxative abuse?

Effects of abuse: "irritant" purgatives cause: melanosis coli (reversible pigmenting of colon lining), cathartic colon ("floppy" colon with limited muscle tone), & soap or chemical colitis (acute inflammation within hours of "cleansing" enema). Abusers get chronic diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain, edema, nausea/vomiting, muscle weakness, bone pain, lassitude, kidney stones, skin changes, kidney disease, dehydration. ...Read more

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Is it possible to die from laxative abuse?

Is it possible to die from laxative abuse?

Yes: You can. I'm an autopsy pathologist. Why not stay slim by exercising and eating with fitness-focused friends instead? There's a lot of fun in your future if you try this. Cheers. ...Read more

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Looked up laxative abuse but still unsure what it is.?

Looked up laxative abuse but still unsure what it is.?

Extra Oordinary Use: Laxative abuse occurs when one uses laxatives for reasons other that their intenced and causes impairment in one's ability to function. Some common situatuations where laxatives are abused include eating disorders such bulemia and anorexia nervosa. Laxative abuse can lead to serious even life threatening complications. If you think you are abusing laxatives get help from your physician. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: laxative abuse?

Overuse: Laxatives come in various types. Stimulant laxatives are potentially the most "dangerous" in that there is the potential to cause a weak or "cathartic" colon. In this condition, the colon becomes sluggish and ultimately unresponsive to laxatives. Laxative abuse is most common in young women trying to keep their weight down. ...Read more

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How can you get your health back in check after laxative abuse?

Daily fiber: Never use laxatives again, if you can help it ( and here's how).If no b m in 2-3 days, try milk of magnesia or miralax (polyethylene glycol).They both work differently that a laxative. ...Read more

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A question about laxative abuse. If you need the laxatives, is daily use still considered abuse?

Yes: No one should need laxatives. See a pmd, GI doc or colorectal surgeon who is familiar with performing motility studies. Stool softeners without the laxative effect are safer. ...Read more

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I need help with my laxative abuse. How can I stop? I'm scared I'm doing major long term damage to myself

Laxative abuse: You're certainly wise to be concerned about laxative abuse which can cause damage to the colon lining. A gastroenterologist is best qualified to instruct you on the causes, types, proper diet, fluid intake and, if deemed advisable, prescription medications useful in certain cases of chronic constipation. ...Read more

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Are there side effects of laxative abuse?

SideEffects of abuse: "irritant" purgatives cause: melanosis coli (reversible pigmenting of colon lining), cathartic colon ("floppy" colon with limited muscle tone), & soap or chemical colitis (acute inflammation within hours of "cleansing" enema). Abusers get chronic diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain, edema, nausea/vomiting, muscle weakness, bone pain, lassitude, kidney stones, skin changes, kidney disease, dehydration. ...Read more

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