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  1. #1
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    Default Please don't judge me.

    I am after some constructive advice, but am having mega issues so please don't just have a go at me.

    Is it possible to be addicted to laxatives?

    I have always had body images and once took laxatives for another reason, then I realized if I take them every day it keeps my weight down.
    Is this an addiction or a mental problem?
    What kind of damage am I doing to myself?

  2. #2
    Madame Mayhem's Avatar
    Madame Mayhem is offline Who you are is who you should be, don't change for anyone
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    Oh Hun, no judgement here

    It could be a combination of both, I don't know what sort of damage you could be doing as I have no experience with this type of thing, but I would recommend speaking to a GP that you trust about this and possibly even get a referral to a phsycologist to help work through your body image issues

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    I think its a bit of both. I would assume (Im no way a doctor or any such thing) that you might train your bowel not to work properly by taking laxatives? I have no idea but I know they arent pleasant! I would go talk to the doctor if I were you hun

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    Laxative dependency is a psychological one but can also be a physical one. The psycholgical part relates to your need to use them to have better self image. When your body uses laxatives regularly for long periods of time your bowel can become lazy and needs the laxatives to 'move'. If you have a good GP then I would recommend asking them for a referral to see a psychologist or you could seek advice from The Butterfly Foundation. Good on you for putting your wellbeing first and questioning your laxative use.

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    yes long term or regular laxatives damage your bowel

    You lose muscle tone as the bowel isn't doing it's own work, the laxatives are doing it.

    incontinence is usually the side effect. Sorry to sound full on, but laxatives are ok short term or occasionally, but not regularly unless medically necessary (eg spinal problems etc).

    Go see your GP and book some counselling in. Good luck

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    It is possible for your body to become reliant on laxatives. I struggled with eating disorders in my late teens/early twenties, and at one stage was taking a lot of laxatives every day, and this went on for at least two years. It was my way of purging as I was unable to make myself vomit.

    When I finally dragged myself out of the eating disorder fog, I found that I had caused some damage to my digestive system, and spent years struggling with constipation and other issues that I had never had before. I then discovered that smoking cigarettes stimulated the bowel, and voila I had a new addiction - from laxatives to cigarettes!!!! Early last year I decided i had to quit smoking because DH and I were going to start trying for a baby. Sure enough, as soon as I quit my bowel problems returned. It got so bad sometimes I would be in tears, unable to do up a pair of pants because I was so constipated and my stomach was so distended. It really was like a nightmare and ruled my life for months!!!! I tried so many things including changes in diet, a colonoscopy (which turned up nothing), even bowel physiotherapy. Nothing really seemed to help.

    Anyway, long story short.... I'd quit smoking for four months when I fell pregnant, and am amazed to be saying that my bowel problems have actually gone away! I expected the opposite because of course it's common to be constipated during pregnancy. I'm not really sure what caused the turnaround, but I really think I just had to wait for my body to re-adjust itself after years of relying on stimulants (laxatives and then cigarettes) to go to the toilet.

    I think if you are still taking laxatives to keep your weight down, you would benefit from talking to a counsellor because you may well have an eating disorder as I did.

    I would definitely advise taking steps to get off the laxatives sooner rather than later.

    Hugs and good luck!

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    Okay I did some googling and this and this have some info about laxative abuse side effects. It says in there that prolonged use can lead to 'lazy' bowels and laxative dependance which means your bowels might not work on their own.

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    yes they can be totally addictive (I did an assignment on anorexia a few years ago, and many many girls who have anorexia are addicted to laxatives)

    you need to see a GP hon and chat about what you are doing - you'll probably need to be weaned off the laxatives slowly


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    Thankyou all for the replies. I really struggle with this. I know I should see a Gp but it's really not something I want to tell anyone. Everyone says I look fine and has a go at me for expressing my thoughts.

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    absolutely. when i was in the grip of my anorexia i was taking 300 a day of the strongest otc laxatives. i suffered anorexia for nearly 20 yrs and am only now 'recovering'.

    i have had constipation problems and was recently diagnosed with gastroparesis which was caused by my eating disorder and will probably have to take medication the rest of my life.

    and i hate to break it to you, but laxatives do not help you lose weight, they simply force fluids out of your system (which i found out after having to call an ambulance due to dehydration and heart palpitations). so you are more at risk of causing chemical imbalances which help keep your heart going and your brain working.

    please go see your gp - she can give you a referral to speak to someone and if need be, a script for some mild antidepressants to help you short term.

    i really, really hope you get some help so you can recover. feel free to pm me at any time too.....


 

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