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Are there side effects of laxative abuse?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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