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How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

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Old 03-05-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
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midleton123 HB User
Question How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

I've been taking laxative since I was 13/14 years old and now I range from 30-40 through out the day. If I try to stop and take metamucil, eat veggies (ex: asparagus, brocolli) I just get gas and wont go to the bathroom for 5 days until I give up and take laxative again. Sometimes fibersure doesnt even work unless I saturate my drink wit 1/2 a bottle of it, which gives me bad gas and bloatedness throughout the day.

How can I recover from this problem??

I'm 19 years old about to be 20 this month. So thats about 6 years on laxative

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Old 03-06-2007, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

The thing about laxative abuse is that it often makes the body have difficulty in having BMs on its own. Since you are taking so many laxatives a day, I would broach the subject with a doctor, preferably one experienced in treating people with EDs.

Fiber can keep people regular, but many don't realize that if you increase your fiber intake drastically all of a sudden and don't increase your water intake, it makes constipation worse. My husband has anal fissures and has to be on a high fiber diet, so I hear about his problems all the time in glorious detail You don't want to go from eating about 5 g of fiber a day to over 30 g of fiber in a day; that will definitely cause constipation. You have to ease into it. Probably, in the end, your goal should be around 30 g a day--high fiber foods include beans (black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, sweet peas), oatmeal, bran, berries (especially the berries--you wouldn't think it, but look it up online--blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), some cereals have lots of fiber too like All Bran or Kashi has a lot of high fiber cereals.

It is key when you increase your fiber intake to drastically increase your water intake. Be sure you are getting around 10 8 oz. glasses of water daily with that much fiber.

I would also recommend you consult a doctor about your situation. Ask if it is safe to add a magnesium supplement to your diet; that may help you, but don't take the magnesium without consulting a doctor. Since you have been abusing laxatives for so long, I think it would be a good idea for you to get your electrolytes checked to be sure that nothing is too out of balance and life threatening. Then, if your electrolytes are OK, ask the doc. if it is safe to take a small magnesium supplement during the transition off laxatives. Please don't take the magnesium while on laxatives, it will exacerbate the laxative effect and could be dangerous if your electrolytes are very imbalanced.

Good luck!

Old 03-06-2007, 11:50 AM   #3
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Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

the funny thing is i got my electrolytes and potassium checked and i'm fine. the only problem is that i have protein spilling in my urine and blood, which i dont know why that is.
I eat oat bran, oatmeal, veggies, etc.

I know I should hydrate more though. Thanks though for the advice.

Old 03-10-2007, 07:11 PM   #4
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Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

a friend of mine was a laxative abuser and has ruined her digestive system because of it. i'm not trying to scare you, but you really need to see a doctor. it's going to be a rather long road to healing, but it can be done.
take care.

Old 03-10-2007, 07:29 PM   #5
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Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

Since you are young, you could recover very quickly. The body is pretty forgiving if you give it a chance. It seems it is mostly the mental component that is difficult to overcome. You will have to give it time. LIke maybe try cutting back slowly on the amounts of lax until it is almost nil and then adding some fiber. Lots of water will help too. Counseling to get to the why could be helpful. Many have been where you are and recovered with therapy and a return to healthy food.

Old 03-19-2007, 09:08 PM   #6
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what did i do?! HB User
Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

OK. so this is my first time posting to ANYTHING in my life. I don't usually seek help like this, but i stumped myself. i dont' know what to do.

I've been on laxatives for 2 1/2 months, and already i've been feeling the sad effects from not taking the laxatives. I'm determined to not take them anymore.

i guess i should start from the beginning.

i started taking them to lose weight. and well, it was working. however, a month into it i got a crazy diarrhea marathon one day, and had to see the doctor. i was dizzy, fainty, and dehydrated. I couldn't face telling the doctor or my family i was abusing laxatives. the symptoms passed as gastroenteritis (almost like food poisoning).

i was still taking them until i started reading these posts (about an hour ago). And i threw out the rest of the pills i still had. Today i took up to 20. I don't know how i managed to take so many in such a short amount of time. but i want to quit. i want my normal bowel movements.

what do i do?

considering i am only 2 and half months into it, can i be fully recovered? i'll do what it takes.

what is my first step to recovery?! PLEASE, i want to cry just thinking about what i'm doing to myself.

Old 03-20-2007, 08:20 AM   #7
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Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??


I urge you to see a doctor and get a therapist (preferably one specialized in treating EDs). The doctor is important. Because you are abusing laxatives, you could have an electrolyte imbalance (even with the short time you have been abusing laxatives). Electrolyte imbalances are very serious and can lead to heart palpitations and heart attacks. Please get your electrolytes checked. Believe me, doctors have heard and seen it all. There is no reason to be embarrassed.

The bad thing about laxative abuse is it then makes it difficult to have a bowel movement on your own, which causes constipation, which in turn makes the individual turn back to laxatives. This is part of why it might be a good thing to find someone experienced in treating EDs.

Some things that may help are drinking lots of water and being sure your diet is balanced. Do take a good multi-vitamin. Fiber may help too, but don't up your fiber suddenly without upping your water intake or that will cause more constipation.

I never did abuse laxatives for extended periods (didn't like the sudden explosive diarrhea and cramps), so I'm afraid I'm not much help here. Maybe others might have more suggestions for you.

Old 03-20-2007, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

Is the person testing your electrolytes an ED specialist? Protein in the urine could be a sign of your body breaking down from the abuse you've put on it from your ED. This happened to me and that is when I turned my life around. I realized destroying my body was not worth the "satisfaction of being skinny".

I'm really struggling right now with my ED but I'm winning the battle.

Go see a doctor or nutrishionist, or just be honest with your doctor and they can research how to help you.

Good Luck

Old 04-20-2007, 01:26 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2007
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junebug85 HB User
Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

First of all, I applaud your decision to quit. I have also been trying to quit, and because it seemed so ridiculously overwhelming I have been slowly weaning myself off them. It's taken me about two years to go from ~25/day to 2/day. I just made the decision yesterday to try only taking 1/day. One thing that has helped me is something I learned from someone in AA- you tell yourself that you're doing something "just for today". For example, I might tell myself "Just for today, I'm only going to take x number of pills. I might take more tomorrow, but for today I'm only taking x many." This 'mantra' (for lack of a better word) has also helped me to eat enough calories and manage my exercising.
Other things that have helped for me:
- trying to get enough fruits and veggies
- eating "real" meals as opposed to just snacking on crackers (and making sure these are balanced meals)
- staying VERY hydrated (~2-3 liters of water/day)
- exercising (I'm not saying go crazy with this, but regular exercise keeps your bowels moving. I'm being careful to not go crazy with crunches, but knowing that I'm keeping my stomach moving has helped.)
- having a good support system (My bf, two closest friends- one of whom has recovered from this as well- and mother all know that I am doing this. They have been helpful in cooking healthy meals and going for walks with me, even late at night, when I feel like I need to take another pill.)
- getting my depression under control
Good luck to you, and hopefully some of this crazy long post might help you!

Old 04-28-2007, 10:14 PM   #10
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kimba414 HB User
Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

STOP TAKING THE LAXATIVES IMMEDIATELY!!! I am begging you. And why am I begging you? Because, I myself have been addicted to laxatives for the past five years and regret ever starting them. I also am angry at the doctor's who knew of my condition and allowed me to continue on with my life using the laxatives. If I was a doctor, I would have told myself as a patient to stop taking them the second I heard the patient mention the abuse.

While it is unfortunate that you have resorted to such a drastic means for losing weight that is detrimental to your mental and physical health, luckily you have only been taking them for 2 1/2 which means it is that much easier for you to stop them. I just recently stopped taking them myself, as I said, after 5 years of addiction and am slowly recovering, but am living proof that it is possible. The first thing you must know is that it will not be an easy transition from taking up to 20 laxatives to none at all. But hopefully by reading this, you will begin your journey with optimism and faith.

If you were asking my advice on how to do such a thing, this is what I would tell you:

First, you need to stop taking them immediately, cold turkey. You said you threw the pills out which is great, because we do not want them around, especially when there may be moments of weakness and desire to reach for them again.

Now, I will let you know when you stop the immediately, most likely you will not go the bathroom for the first one or two or even five days. I remind you again, have faith.

In the meantime, what I have found to be very beneficial is that I drink a hot of green tea in the morning and in the evening. Warm drinks keep from things sticking to the interior lining of our intestinal walls. Green tea, as I'm sure you already now, also has many health benefits to it. I also like to drink a lot of V8, which comes in mini-cans that you can buy at any grocery store. The last thing I recommend you do is eat a lot of cooked vegetables, especially spinach!!

As for exercise, I recommend you take daily walks to keep your body's metabolism up and allowing your body's digestive track to start flowing again.

If these recommendations to do work and you find yourself extremely frustrated and returning to laxative abuse I suggest one other alternative that after 5 years of laxative abuse, I have had to use. This is a colon cleanse called Oxypowder. [removed] Now, the directions call for you to take it for 7 days and then once a week thereafter for maintenance, however, I took it for only 3 and stopped that cold turkey and every since then i've been going the bathroom everyday, sometimes even twice a day, without taking any laxatives or coloncleanse, just by following the diet and regimen I mentioned above.

Just another side note, I want you to know that laxatives do no cause you to lose weight. What they do instead is dehydrate the body, causing you to think that you have lost weight but what it really is, is water weight and as others have mentioned electrolytes that your body needs.

I can not stress enough the importance of you to stop taking laxatives this instant. For you to address this issue so early on is one of the best things you can do for yourself. The second step is truly acting upon it and continuing on your way to recovery. Therapy is also a great tool that you can utilize to your advantage to help you through this process. I am seeing a therapist and it is great. Who can complain, you get to talk about yourself for an hour and the other person has no choice but to listen!!

If money is of concern, contact your health insurance to find a therapist that is covered by your plan.

Good luck and good health!

Last edited by mod-anon; 04-28-2007 at 10:29 PM. Reason: do not instruct members on how to find websites.

Old 05-03-2007, 01:02 AM   #11
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Tempe, AZ, US
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kimba414 HB User
Re: How can I RECOVER from Laxative abuse ??

PLEASE STOP TAKING THE LAXATIVES IMMEDIATELY!!! I had been taking laxatives for 5 years and just recently stopped and while I'm not fully recovered I am on my way there and woudl ike to give you some reassurance that it can happen with you.

I too had gone through what you had where I would sotp taking them for five days and then could not bare the discomfort and frustration no longer and woudl resort back to laxatives. The doctor's did even testing that resulted in contemplation on my part whether or not to remove my whole colon (this was doctor recommended by a few). Refusing to except this as my fate, I decided once and for all to take serious action. After numerous attempts at colon stimulation medicines prescribed by doctor's, medical massages, and natural remedies, I [removed] found a colon clenaser called Oxypowder. I took it for three days and realized I had been going so much that I decided to stop it. Ever since then, I've been drinking hot green tea in the morning and in the evening, drinking V8 during the day and trying to eat some type of vegetable (mostly spinach), and I've been going every day, sometimes twice a day. This has been going on for over a month now.

As I said before, I an nowhere near fully recovered, however, my bowels are slowly transgressing from laxative dependency to fully functioning on their own....

Please follow my advice. I was in the same exact boat you are in right now and had lost all hope. Know that you can recover from this!! If you would like to talk more please reply and I would gladly answer any of your questions.

Last edited by mod-anon; 05-03-2007 at 01:08 AM. Reason: do not instruct members on how to find commercial websites.

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