Laxative abuse is defined as a use (or overuse) of laxatives over a long period of time, and used a means of weight control. Laxative abuse is most common among those struggling from Bulimia (although not exclusive) as a way of purging. There are two main types of laxatives, stimulant laxatives and bulk-forming laxatives. Stimulant laxatives irritate the colon to induce bowel movements (and are not recommended for use longer than one week) and bulk-forming laxatives add mass and volume to the bowel movement. Continual overstimulation of the intestines from laxative abuse can eventually cause the bowels to become non-responsive.
Over a period of time, laxatives lose their effectiveness and actually start working against you. Some of the adverse side effects of laxative abuse include:
Health Complications (May Include):
• SEVERE abdominal pain and cramping
• Diarrhea (which can occur while sleeping in extreme abuse situations)
• Stomach ulcers
• Fluid retention/bloating (especially in your hands, feet, ankles, face and stomach)
• Development of blood in stools which leads to Anemia
• Renal stones
• Severe electrolyte, fluid and mineral imbalances.
• Fatigue and lethargy
• Malabsorption (which can cause deformed bone development.)