Relationship between Eating Disorder and Laxatives Abuse

Eating disorder is an abnormal eating behavior including over-eating, starving or purging after eating. Three most common eating disorders are anorexia (loss of appetite), bulimia (binge-vomit) and binge-eating. Patients with these eating disorders have something in common; they are fear of weight gaining and have distorted perception about their body image.

Connection between different Eating Disorders

All 3 eating disorders are inter-related and all of them must be addressed. For example, many people start their childhood with binge-eating and become “fat boy” or “fat girl”. When they grow older, there will be a time when they decided to change due to various reasons. They will start their fat free diet and exercises but with very little success. When they are introduced to laxatives, they will slowly addicted to it as they will feel “empty” after clearing their bowel after each intake. However, only 10-12% calories can be purged by the laxatives and they will soon upset again. Motivated by compliments and self-esteem, they will turn their diet restriction into self-starvation combined with laxatives and vomiting.

Connection between eating disorder and Laxatives abuse

How does someone develop laxative abuse from eating disorder, or vice versa? According to studies conducted, majority individuals developed both eating disorder and laxative abuse in the same year, or eating disorder came first.

Patients with anorexia nervosa may start to abuse laxative in order to stay slim after getting inaccurate testimonials from their friends or influenced by advertisement. After taking laxatives, individuals usually feel their muscles burned, stomach flatten and felt like half their weight ran down the toilet. Sad to say that, in reality, laxatives intake will not purge calories but only water and electrolytes in the body.

On the other hand, patient suffering from bulimia nervosa is having a cycle of compulsive bingeing followed by purging through vomiting, diuretic abuse, laxative abuse or extreme exercising. They will consume massive amount of calories through excess food intake but will soon regret after that and take laxatives hoping to get rid of excess calories from body as soon as possible. Bulimics believe that laxatives intake can purge the calories before getting absorbed by their bodies. However, the fact is that most nutrients already absorbed by small intestines before laxatives taking effect. What is being “lose” are just water and the sense of release and ease of their emotion.

How to be free from Eating Disorder?

life-without-ed bookLaxative abuse, like all other addictions, starts small but will quickly turn into 30-100 pills per day. The bulimics will need to take more and more as they built up laxative tolerance over time. It is not physical problem alone, but also mental problems that need to be addressed before they switch to other abuse like alcohol or drugs.

There is this very old but good and motivating book talks about Ed called “Life Without Ed” which many readers found themselves able to relate to the author and learn from her painful experiences. Do read the reviews and see if it helps.