Taken too many laxatives

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This past few days I've been taking an awful lot of dulcolax. Today I am feeling totally ill. How can I avoid feeling like this. I have four young children at home and am not coping too well

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  • Posted

    Laxatives are a group of medicines that are used to treat constipation. Taking more laxatives than recommended can lead to overuse and abuse. Abuse of laxatives is often done to lose weight. Overuse and abuse can lead to dependence; body can no longer produce a bowel movement without the help of laxatives.

    Laxative abuse can be dangerous. Diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting are potential side effects. Also lead to a deadly electrolyte imbalance. Electrolyte depletion can cause tiredness and muscle weakness. The only thing you can do is drinking plenty of fluids (water) and eat a BRAT diet such as bananas, rice and toast.

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    • Posted

      Hi.thanks for reply. I suffer from an eating disorder hence the laxatives. Taking them help my body to feel cleansed out.the side effects are harder to control especially when I'm out and about a lot with my young children. If I don't take them I feel like crap and get really bloated. It's a viscious curcle
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    • Posted

      If this is still bothering you and you're still taking laxatives regularly, I'd suggest slowly reducing the amount you're taking in one go - you're body will eventually get used to not needing them and you'll be able to digest food without feeling bloated. Especially during the period where you're trying to come off them, increase your fibre intake with small helpings of dried fruit, for example, but not enough to bloat you! It's a long process, I know, but it gets easier. Good luck, and I hope you're feeling better.
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  • Posted

    Avoid tea,alcohol,smoking and spicy food.Some people are intolerant to lactose products(diary products) , even it flares up the IBS.

    Brain and stomach has impact over each other.So, more relax your mind is,more healthy will be your bowels.Enjoy yourself and keep stress at bay.Surround yourself with happy people.THINK ABOUT POSITIVE THOUGHTS.

    Eating food that is high in fiber such as bananas,avocados,apples and dried fruits.

    Though,it will take few months to be normal,but results are quite amazing.

    Hope this all works for you.

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  • Posted

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop taking them.

    I have ended up in A and E twice this year because of laxative abuse.

    The second time they thought it was gastroentitus, I didn't correct them.

    The first time, they were correct that my bloods were extremely affected by my abuse of laxatives and very poorly body.

    I was kept in on both occasions.

    They are so dangerous, and I have been lucky that it hasn't been more serious.

    Are there other ways you can cope when things get really difficult? Do you have music you can listen to, or a stress ball?

    My therapist has often encouraged the behaviour of acting opposite.

    If you can, please hand over your laxatives to someone, it makes it harder to take them because your forecebily have to buy some more.

    If you are having to manage alone, then please think about getting some help.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing this. I have struggled with laxative abuse as well and was going to say how dangerous they are. I started out taking them for the same reason as you, wildrover. I got constipated, took one before I went to bed. The next day, it had not worked, so I took another. It finally worked, but it was as if my body was immediatly addicted to them. I have been using them for 4 years and 2-3 years trying to get off of them. It has caused me to have rectal prolapse (which can pretty much only be corrected by surgery), fecal incontenece, and horrible gas and bloating. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop taking them now!!! I know it will be hard, but in the long run it will be easier than the correcting the consequences down the road. 
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  • Posted

    god I remember the pain! Used to poison myself regularly taking over 30 at a time. Trouble is I now look back and realise I didn't need to take that many!!! How many have you taken? It can give the opposite effect if you overdose. also , now I've recovered, my bowels don't work in the same way they did. I'm lucky if i can go to the toilet once every few days. I wouldn't risk laxatives, my honest advice. They seem like a great fix but it's hard to get a correct amount and it leaves you with the bowels of a 90 year old! Another thing people don't realise is that anorexia and bulimia have an expiry date. no one can keep it up forever, then you're left trying desperately to fix everything. I really hope you're ok, call the poisons deposit in hospital, they're understanding. Check your safe, then keep a water bottle to your tummy and keep sipping water as your electrolytes will be quite unbalanced which can be dangerous. Keep safe
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  • Posted

    Recently I have been taking laxatives 3-4 every time nothing to worry about I was in control up until I took them twice 4 of them in a week which I know doesn't sound a lot but the second occasion I was really scared I started to get the shakes u see I went normally twice after taking them then three hours later again twice so once it was 6 hour mark I began to feel ill hot sweats shakes sickly feeling is this right got a bit scared like just want to lose weight I was nearing20 stone gone down but wanna stay that way normal eating prevents me from doing so I have a bad appetite xx
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    • Posted

      The first thing I would say is that laxatives do not make you lose weight. So if you're taking these for that purpose you're not only making yourself ill, but wasting your time.

      The reason your weight is going down on the scale is because you are losing water (and crucial salts) through dehydration, which is extremely dangerous on your heart.

      Laxatives are not removing physical weight from your body.

      It sounds like you have a lot going on at the moment and really need to start addressing the whys and whats of your eating. I am happy to offer a more detailed response to managing binges and eating, but do have a look at some of my others posts, as I have written extensively on this subject to others.

      In the interim, please start to think about reducing/removing your laxative abuse. These kill people. You say 3-4 is nothing to worry about. It is still an overdose, and laxatives should only be used in extreme circumstances anyway for constipation. You are taking well over the recommended dose and regularly when you do not have this ailment. Not only could you end up messing up your kidneys (people who regularly abuse laxatives end up with loss of control of their bowels). You are also at risk of heart failure. 3-4 laxatives can be 3-4 too many for some people. Everyone is different. 

      Sorry to sounds harsh, but laxatives kill. Your symptoms are your body responding to the overdose, have you ever heard of how people respond to other drug overdoses? This is exactly the same.

      I'm not saying that it will be easy, but you need to accept that these will not make you lose weight. Once you do this, then you can start to tackle the other issues.

      Hope this helps. Please look after yourself. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan

      I'm really sorry to hear about your addiction.

      I want to highlight that this forum isn't a Pro-ana site but an NHS forum which will provide health advice.

      I would at this stage like to recommend beat (the eating disorder charity). Who have helplines for this.

      I also recommend the Samaritans if you are feeling low.

      I feel your pain. I know you won't at this stage you may not be ready to accept this information but the point is that laxative abuse DOES NOT cause weight loss. It causes water loss, which aside from being very dangerous (see my previous point), this is what you will see reflected on the scale.

      If laxatives or diet pills for that matter did cause weight loss they would be available on the NHS to deal with the UKs obesity problem.

      I am sorry to distress you, but whilst you will see change on the scale (I have too) it is not body mass that you have lost i.e. weight. Therefore when you replenish the water lost you will regain the "weight".

      As I've said before laxative abuse causes electrolyte imbalances. I was hospitalised for this very reason two years ago due to my potassium being so low. It is so so so dangerous on your heart.

      Please listen. Any overdose is one too many.

      It isn't worth it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Katlouise

      I thought your reply was really sensible.  My experience of laxatives is slightly different but may be relevant to some people reading this.   

      I became addicted to 30/500 co-codamol, which of course, made me very constipated, so I'd take laxatives for it, then I'd get the runs so bad I'd take loperimide, which again gave me the runs - it was a vicious circle.  Fortunately I was able to kick the co-codamol, and the laxatives and the loperimide, it took some time, and was a very unpleasant exprience, but in the end I felt so much better.

      I'm now relatively healthy, if you exclude my controlled bipolar, but have been found to have low iron levels.  Unfortunately these made me constipated again, so I went back to my gp and we agreed to take a slower approach to boosting my iron levels and I'm now only taking one iron capsule a day, with food at breakfast and am pretty much back to normal.

      REgarding my low iron, they thought it could be due to internal bleeding so I had to have a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy, fortunately they couldn't see any damge to either my intestines or stomach, big sigh of relief.

      All I can say to anyone who is addicted to anything, or has bowel or food problems, is talk to your gp, don't give up until they give you a sensible answer.  I'm lucky as mine is great and listens very carefully when I describe my symptoms, but whatever they are like, just talk to them, they really can help

      Love from Lizzie

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    • Posted

      Slight typo in my post - meant to say that the loperimide made me constipated again, NOT, gave me the runs, hope that makes sense.  Sorry about my terrible typing.Lizzie
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    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing Lizzie. I'm really sorry to hear about your issues but it just emphasises how critical early intervention is when it comes to mental health. Well done for being open and congrats on staying strong in the fight.

      Hopefully you're eating more than just breakfast (otherwise I'd write a whole post about getting support for that).

      Susan, I hope you can see it isn't worth it. Please get support.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kat

      Nice to see you have a sense of humour, and yes, I do eat sensibly but am still over weight as one of the side effects of the meds I take for my bipolar is weight gain, still, I'd rather be overweight than suffer again from all the horrendous syymptons I used to experinece in both depression and mania.  It all started in 1984 but I wasn't diagnosed until 1998 despiote asking for help, one just has to be persistant.

      You are so right about early intervention, want to support you on that one and if it applies to anyone else, do go to your gp as soon as possible, whatever the problem.

      I've been on this forum for about a year now and just want to record my thanks to all the poeple who have supported me through difficult times, especialy the withdrawal from the co-co, I couldn't have done it without you all

      Have a great Boxing Day


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