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When does laxative use cross the line to abuse?

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Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology

In brief: Laxative abusers

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.

In brief: Laxative abusers

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.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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