Anorexia, Bulimia & Binge Eating Expert Forum
Laxative dependency
About This Forum:

Questions in the Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Forum are being answered by Dr. Patricia Pitts, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist from The Bella Vita Program - CA.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Laxative dependency

I have been taking from 12-30 laxatives a day for about a week now, and I saw recently that you can become addicted to laxatives.
How is this?  Is it like a nicotine addiction, or does your colon stop working without laxatives?
Related Discussions
514715_tn?1338269858
Dear szczepak,

Laxative abuse is extremely difficult to treat.  Taking such extreme doses of laxatives can easily set you up for continual use.  It’s better to stay as far away from laxatives as you can.

Laxative abuse can cause permanent damage to your kidneys, liver and colon function.  Because laxatives work on the colon and not the stomach all but 12% of the calories ingested are excreted with laxative use.  In addition, laxative abuse can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances (causing arrhythmias and heart attack), bloating, gas, severe abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.  

For more information on eating disorders, visit the bella vita website.

Best,

Dr. Patricia Pitts
The Bella Vita
Los Angeles, CA
Woodland Hills, CA
9 Comments
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
All i gotta say is STOP THAT THIS INSTANCE!!!! It is not good for you at all!

If you abuse laxatives, your rectal muscles become lax and you may not be capaple of having a bowel movement on your own lacking help. You can also hold electrolyte imbalance from pulling too much fluid out of our system. If you keep taking laxitives, you will train your body to depend on them. Also, laxatives can cause very bad dehydration because pretty much all fluids you take in leave your body when you use laxatives.
Also, are you just taking them to loose weight? If you are, then chances are you have an eating disorder and need to seek help.
As for being addicted to laxatives, i don't know if you can get addicted. Who wants to poop all the time?
Blank
785277_tn?1244328409
You can definitely become addicted to laxatives, just like bulimics become addicted to purging. When becoming addicted, most people tell themselves oh ill only use it once..., or just a few more times..., or this will be the very last time...
So it's not like a nicotine addiction, which is a physical element. It's more like an emotional addiction.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
It's true that there is a mental addiction, but there can most definitely be a physical addiction. Yes, your body can become dependent on laxatives and you will have to have them in order for things to "work" you know? I definitely suggest you stop using them asap, at least wean yourself off, but do it fast. It's not good. I knew a girl who got so caught up in all of this that she had serious problems and almost had to have a "poop bag" for the rest of her life. How sad would that be? She was only 19.
Blank
794656_tn?1237175229
So would it be healthier to wean myself off of the laxatives, or to go cold turkey?
Blank
785277_tn?1244328409
idk what u mean about cold turkey, but it would Definitely b healthier 2 wean off the laxatives.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Cold turkey means smoking
Blank
785277_tn?1244328409
o. well both r unhealthy, but smoking would b less harmful short term than laxatives. ru asking bc u want 2 become addicted 2 something?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
No, cold turkey means stop completely. Like instead of slowly backing off of them just suddenly stopping them altogether.

I don't feel real comfortable saying which you should do. If you think you can stop completely, my advice would be to go for it though definitely. You know your body and your situation better than any of us, so it's kind of up to you. What do you think you can do?
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank