Becoming addicted to laxatives is easier than you might think. Some people begin taking laxatives for their intended usage, which is to treat constipation. Laxative addiction occurs when you begin taking a laxative so frequently that your body ceases to have the ability to eliminate on its own. Other laxative addicts begin taking laxatives to lose extra water weight. This is a type of eating disorder.
|I Think I'm Addicted to Laxatives. What Should I Do?|
In reality, laxatives don't help you lose weight. They work in your colon, after your food has already been digested. That means your body has already taken the calories from the food. Laxatives work in your colon to help flush any waste out. This means waste is eliminated faster. The weight lost from abusing laxatives bounces back within 48 hours, because it is only water weight.
Laxative abuse causes a number of dangerous side effects. They can include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bloating and gas
- Chronic, uncontrollable diarrhea
- Electrolyte disturbances
- Chronic constipation
- Irreversible rectal damage
If you're abusing laxatives, it's important that you stop immediately. Consult a doctor to figure out a plan that can lead you to better digestive health. She might suggest therapy, colonics, increased water intake, a fiber-rich diet, or using stool softeners temporarily to relieve any lingering constipation. The sooner you quit taking laxatives, the sooner your body will begin to heal itself.