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?laxative addiction

megirl

megirl

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I have pretty much for the last 15 years been pretty dependent on laxatives.
I cant go to the loo at all now without them. I do the fruit, lots of water, plenty of veges etc,
Nothing works then I cant stand the bloated uncomfortable feeling of being constipated If i dont take the laxatives even for several days i still cant go.
The only laxatives that work is the stimulant one 'dulcolax'
Last week I used heaps of laxatives and it got to the point where I was going constantly.
I felt like crap but loved that empty feeling.
I feel its too late now to get my bowels back to how they should be functioning.
I from a teenager started using them but generally not a stimulant I used coloxyl-a bowel softener or a bulking agent they dont work at all, even in huge quantities :sorry:
I disagree that this is a weight issue its (i argure with myself) because i just cant go.
Any suggestions?
 
valleygirl

valleygirl

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It sounds like what started off as a weight or body image issue has now also become a physical issue. I know what you mean about loving that empty feeling. I used to abuse laxatives as well, and started when I was 14 or 15. I don't anymore, because it would interfere with the absorption of my meds, which would result in me not being able to sleep. Have you told your doctor about this? It is pretty serious if you can't go even after several days.
 
calypso

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I would definitely go to the doctor honey. I am pretty sure they know how to get around this. You mustn't go on like this, you won't absorb essential vitamins and minerals which might affect your bones and organs.

You say its not a weight thing but love the emptiness, that sounds like a problem to me, but I could be wrong. Don't be embarrassed at going to a doc, they will be able to help.
 
megirl

megirl

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I feel a bit silly as was a nurse like ???like wtf stupid me!!
i need to get a routine thing going maybe I could start off with a dietician ...Maybe just kind of do the whole 'at times I rely on laxatives' and is getting worse at the moment then kind of make it more of a current problem getting worse as then i wont feel like I will be judged so much I feel like I should know better

I also am getting a bit of rectal discomfort which i have never had before.

Well I am just covering it up it is bad OK
I am going to right now make an appointment with my GP
AND tell my support worker tomorrow and get referred to a dietician who deals with mental health related issues.

I dont want to end up with a colostomy
 
valleygirl

valleygirl

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I'm glad you are going to make that appointment with your doctor. And I hope that you will be totally honest about how bad it is. I hope that you will be able to find a solution.
 
pepecat

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Your gp will probably tell you not to go 'cold turkey' with the laxatives, as this can throw your bowel into all sorts of trouble. It's like one day you're helping it and the next you've stopped helping it and now it's suddenly got to work on its own. It won't. You have to try and retrain it gradually, which means cutting down very very very slowly on the laxatives, to give your bowel a chance to get going again on its own over time. Your gp might also give you something like moviciol which is safe to take long term, while you're trying to get off the other stuff.
I'm kinda in your situation, but due to a physical situation rather than abuse, and have been in the exact same situation about trying to get on to something safer to take long term. It's really hard...... I have a great gp though who was really understanding and didn't attribute stuff to my MH issues, but saw it as a separate thing, which was good. Good luck!
 
megirl

megirl

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I see my support worker today so I will ask him to refer me to a dietician.
He knows about my weight issues and restricting etc.
So yep will see my gp next week And I will try and eat more fibre plenty of fluids and reduce my coffee just try and do this gradually.
I have lost weight in the last week or so as I had been taking the laxatives more frequently.
I do look thinner and can start to see my ribs again, once this happens I get so happy about its hard to not give in to these habits of mine.
Yeh so I will get on the right track eventually
 
Just A Girl

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Megirl: Long term laxative abuse will seriously damage the ecosystem of your gut bacteria. Every time you have "the runs" your body loses quite great quantities of digestive gut bacteria (and repeated abuse of laxatives can permanently damage the balance of your gut bacteria ecosystem). And once you have lost that bacteria to a large extent, no amount of eating fruit & drinking water etc is going to make up for that loss. For it is not our body that really breaks down the food but the bacteria within us (when you eat you are feeding not just yourself but the bacteria within you too and when you digest most of the digestion is actually being done by bacteria in your tract rather than the acids in your stomach).

I wouldn't be surprised if you have developed IBS after all those years of laxative abuse. Personally i would recommend going to a doctor to get a proper diagnosis though as while there is no cure for IBS, it can be managed with drugs & lifestyle changes etc.

(You might like the "empty feeling" laxatives give you and seeing ribs etc, but i can assure you that if you carry on your digestive system damage will only intensify and with the laxative/dietary abuse not only are you at serious risk of developing osteoporosis etc but also incontinence too)
 
megirl

megirl

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yeh the incontinence thing is starting to occur
I have woken up in my bed with having lost control in my sleep,
yuck.
I might go down to the pharmacy and see what i can do to help with the gut flora etc,
I havnt been to see my GP yet as the nurse practitioner who i prefer has been away but i think shes back now.
So yes still havnt been to see them.
will get my support worker to refer me to a dietician, as dietary advice is definitely something I need.
I really really dont want to put on weight it frightens me.
Wish I had never started with the restricting etc.
 
megirl

megirl

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Well finally went to my GPs practice and saw the nurse practitioner who knows me well.
I admitted my laxative use. I down played a little bit but at least I put it out there.
She gave me some advice re helping my bowell into working a bit better.
I am too take the laxatives in half the amount but instead of taking such a large amount all at once i am to take half the dose but every night, instead of a lot every few days.
I have gone and got a good multivitamin, and some pro-biotics, I am going to try and drink more water and eat a bit more fruit and vege.
I need to give this a go.
I am actually scared I might have bowel cancer.
She didnt mention that but i am concerned because of my addiction to them over many years.
I will wait for my blood tests, see how my bowel responds to the laxative regime I will try to only use that amount then in a weeks time if i don't have a motion I will indeed go back.
I would like to get some scans done and/or a colonoscopy.I had one a few years back for a different reason. But I never mentioned using laxatives,
oops at least i am going to get something done
I do feel relieved that at least its in the open.
When i see the nurse again soon I will spill the beans and tell her how bad things are,
thanks so very much for your advice

xx
 
megirl

megirl

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Well I need to go back to the nurse. But anyway I havnt had to increase my dose for ages so really I dont things are too bad.
I know it would still be good to see a specialist so I can rule out anything else is going on.
Several weeks back I was taking loads of laxatives to the point where I was incontinent a few times. I loved the feeling of being empty.
I am trying to eat a bit better. Instead of eating my main meal when I get home about 10.30 pm after work I am trying to eat before I go to work which is about 5 or 6pm.
I am a cleaner so I am vaccuming and moppping which is physical work. So not eating all day then eating before bed is not really the best
So yes I think things may not be that bad but will see the nurse again in the next week or so
 
megirl

megirl

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To carry on I was so hungry this morning I had 4 weetbix and 2 pieces of toast geez carry on like this I will get huge and that scares me but I will just have a small tea tonight.
I never get hungry normally but it may be due to it being really cold. I am so scared of putting on weight
 
D

diabolicalme

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Hi megirl, I've had various EDs over the last 35 years incl some lax abuse the last 3 years. Not surprisingly I've also been obsessed with diet/health (oh the irony when abusing my body thru EDs at the same time, all part of the MH probs I know) & I'm also primarily strict vegan, no grain, Type 1 diabetic (43 years). Anyway, in line with my overkeen obsessive interest in diet & health, I went to this mind blowing talk last week at Conway Hall, London, and felt it made the most sense I've ever heard about diet/health incl weight & weight gain/loss all in relation to gut flora, a much understudied area. You do lose gut flora thru various illness/disease along with what we do - overuse of lax - and we need a phenomenally large no. of different gut bacteria for an optimally healthy body, his research showing that we can only obtain these thru eating a wide variety of foods as unprocessed as possible. The probiotics and live yogs etc. are ok but only replace or restore a few particular bacteria within the sea of several billion which we need, so he felt they were just an insignificant drop in the ocean.

Instead of continuing with an inadequate summary of his brilliant talk, I'm over the moon to discover it's been put online in full!!! He trained as a physician with a career in genetic research but got into doing his own personally driven research about diet/health as a result of trying unsuccessfully to lose weight thru diet/exercise approach due to having high blood pressure. Then he realised he'd opened a Pandora's Box of a virtually ignored approach to diet/health : Facts and Fantasy about your Diet and Health

Hope this helps!

Sounds like you first need to find a way to support your bowels to get back to functioning more normally, but restoring the gut flora is really really important too. Of course I'm still stuck in the fight with restrictive, binging lax abuse cycles myself..!! But at least what I do eat is varied fruit, veg and lots of sprouted pulses and some home made houmous with fresh garlic & lemon. Btw he was not advocating veggie or vegan diets at all, he wasa great fan of all the beneficial microbes in various cheeses, and meat only if not pumped full of antibiotics or other drugs i.e. organic.
 
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megirl

megirl

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I am almost 40 and as far back as I remember I was still at primary school and I would throw away my lunches even then. I thought of my weight most days. I would have been about 12. I also restricted since then too.
I weigh myself every day and sometimes twice a day.
But anyway yes I am trying to eat foods that are high in nutrients and as many veges i can. I mostly eat my evening meal, as I feel bloated if I eat a lot during the day.
I had been thinking of seeing a dietician. I could do this through the mental health service which is free, but I dont really want my support people to know about my laxative use. The worst part is while inpatient I would sneak either laxative tablets and or suppositories. Usually put them in my pocket so they wouldnt know.
Buit thanks so much for your reply
x
 
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