climbED: Laxative Addiction

Some people with eating disorders may use laxatives as a way to compensate for their behaviours or as a means to control their weight however I must stress that using laxatives does not lead to weight loss, the change in the number on the scales will be due to the water that has been lost and this can be dangerous because it can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The calories will have already been absorbed and taken in to the body before the laxatives reach them, it doesn’t take away the calories that have been eaten it simply empties your system quickly and can be very dangerous.

I used to battle laxative addiction, I was a healthy weight at the time and nobody would’ve known from looking at me that I had such a problem. Looking back I almost wish that the pharmacist would’ve said something rather than sold them to me day after day. I’d take far more than the recommended dose and it would leave me on the bathroom floor biting on a towel to deal with the pain. I barely slept because I would time it so that they took affect in the night when my family were fast asleep but they knew, of course they did. I’d lie to my mum and say I didn’t have any left when she asked me to hand them to her. I’d miss lessons at college when the laxatives were still working through my system the next day. I was constantly in agonising pain.

I beat the addiction when I took double my ‘normal’ dose and I genuinely thought I was going to die. I was in so much pain that I was sick and passing out, it was really scary and I thought enough is enough. I didn’t want to live in so much pain everyday and I knew factually it wasn’t doing anything for my weight, I had to overcome the ill thoughts that lied to me that the laxatives were doing something for me. I stopped straight away and had a couple of lapses along the way but I have now not touched laxatives for 16 months and I don’t think I ever will again.

If you need help with your laxative addiction then you may find the following links helpful:

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3 thoughts on “climbED: Laxative Addiction

  1. Thanks Claire that is a really helpful and honest piece. I have been using them for a while as honestly believed they helped with weight loss but hearing that is a myth maybe it is the feeling after of being empty/thin that makes me do it. I get scared to talk about it as it feels private but I also want to get better and take control. But I have been inspired by your blog and passion for raising awareness and hopefully I can start to be more open so that I can recover and stop being controlled by my anorexia.

    I wish you all the best for your climb this week, you are an inspiration 🙂 x


    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad you found the piece helpful. I would urge you to seek help with your laxative problem, it can lead to horrific damage, people have ended up with colostomy bags and electrolyte imbalance. It has no effect on weight. I wish you all the very best with your recovery. Eating disorders can be beaten. Keep fighting x


  2. I also had this problem, which was the reason for my second referral to CEDS. I also timed it such that I was ill through the night when my family were asleep…but, like your family, they knew. I remember being accosted by my Dad at 4:30am once, as I made my way back to bed.

    Again, what made me stop was the eventual realisation that they were not doing what I thought, that they had no contribution to make when it came to weight loss. This took a long time to sink in but, when it did, I stopped overnight and enjoyed being able to sleep through the night without worrying about spending most of it in the bathroom, doubled over in pain.

    It’s a horrific thing, and I’m glad you’re speaking out about it. People need to realise it does nothing but flush the goodness through your system, long after the calories have been absorbed.

    Keep going, little champion, you’re relentless campaigning this week is awesome.

    Louise (oops…I did it again!) xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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