Laxatives are a type of substance that increase bowel movements and loosen stools. They work by moving water from the body into the colon, adding moisture to stool and causing the intestinal muscles to contract, resulting in a bowel movement. There are a few instances in which laxatives, which are also known as purgatives or aperients, can be beneficial for individuals when they are used appropriately. For example, medical professionals may recommend that individuals consume laxatives if they are suffering from chronic constipation that has resulted from poor nutrition, pregnancy, a lack of exercise or physical activity, or the consumption of medications that hinder appropriate digestion. Yet, even in these situations, laxatives are only meant to be used for a short period of time.
As a result of this substance’s ability to promote bowel movements, there are many individuals who begin to consume them in an attempt to get rid of unwanted weight. Utilizing this method as a means of losing weight, however, is misguided, as it is not something that will lead to continued or progressive weight reduction. Instead, this extreme attempt at losing weight can ultimately result in a vast number of detrimental consequences meriting the need to seek treatment and rehab at a professional center specializing in laxative abuse.
Unfortunately, the compulsion to continuously consume laxatives can become significantly problematic as individuals develop a sort of addiction to the feeling of being cleansed of food. Especially for those individuals who are suffering from a type of eating or feeding disorder, the ability to take these substances and have food cleared from their systems can be extremely appealing. But it can also be extremely dangerous. For these reasons and more, it is imperative that individuals who are locked in a pattern of laxative abuse receive professional treatment and rehab for laxative abuse at a quality treatment center. Additionally, if those individuals are simultaneously suffering from an eating disorder, engaging in treatment is of the utmost importance because failing to do so can be life-threatening.
At Center for Hope of the Sierras in Nevada, we recognize the anguish that surrounds laxative abuse, and we have created specialized treatment and rehab at our center that is designed to provide you with the care that you need in a nurturing atmosphere of dignity and respect.
Myths about Laxative Abuse
The abuse of laxatives frequently comes from the belief that doing so can initiate weight loss. However, this is not the only myth associated with these substances. The following briefly describes examples of other myths that exist regarding laxative use:
They do not require a prescription, and therefore they are safe to use. There are risks involved with the use of any medication, whether it is sold over-the-counter or not. Due to the fact that laxative use disrupts one’s normal bodily functions, there are countless risks associated with its use that can be mitigated when treatment and rehab at a professional center is sought.
Laxatives cause rapid weight loss. The bowel movements that result from laxative use are typically comprised of water that has been collected in the colon. So while a person may feel as though he or she has lost weight after consuming a laxative, it was really just water weight that will rapidly be restored.
Laxatives prevent the body from absorbing calories. As soon as food or beverage is consumed, the digestion process begins immediately. Even if an individual consumes a laxative after eating, digestion will typically occur before the medication reaches the intestines. Therefore, when the bowel movement occurs, the calories that the body needs have already been absorbed and are not expelled.
Disorders Associated with Laxative Abuse
When an individual is habitually using laxatives, it is frequently a sign that he or she is suffering from an unhealthy obsession with wanting to lose weight. The thought processes and cognitive distortions centered on one’s physical appearance that typically accompany an obsession with weight are also commonly displayed by individuals who are suffering from an eating disorder. Of the various feeding and eating disorders, those who are suffering from bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa are more likely to abuse laxatives than are those who are suffering from another type of eating disorder that may require receive professional treatment and rehab for at a quality center for eating disorders and laxative abuse, such as Center for Hope of the Sierras in Nevada.
Individuals who are suffering from anorexia nervosa go to great measures to restrict themselves from consuming food. Those who are suffering from bulimia nervosa will eat an excessive amount of food, and then purge themselves of that food. The common factors between both of these disorders is the existence of an obsession with weight and the presence of habitual behaviors regarding food consumption. Those who are suffering from either type of disorder may begin engaging in a problematic pattern of abusing laxatives in an attempt to refrain from gaining weight, or in an attempt to eliminate weight that has been gained. Individuals with anorexia may consume a minimal amount of food, but then feel guilty about that consumption, and may turn to laxatives to try and clear themselves of whatever food they ate. The purging behaviors that are characteristic of bulimia may lead individuals to abuse laxatives in an attempt to ride themselves of any food that was consumed during an episode of excessive eating. Thankfully, all of these disorders be overcome with the help of a professional treatment and rehab for at a quality center for eating disorders and laxative abuse, such as Center for Hope of the Sierras in Nevada.
Signs and Symptoms of Laxative Abuse
There are a number of signs and symptoms that may be displayed by an individual who is abusing laxatives that indicate they need professional treatment and rehab at a quality center for laxative abuse. The specific symptoms themselves, however, will vary from person to person. Examples of possible signs that could indicate that someone is suffering from a laxative abuse problem can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Continually increasing the amount of laxatives that one is using
- Continually increasing the frequency with which one is consuming laxatives
- Engaging in ritualistic behaviors relating to laxative use
- Lying about laxative use
- Purchasing laxatives on a frequent basis
- Frequently changing the type or brand of laxatives that one is using
- Hiding laxatives
- Edema (swelling)
- Impaired bowel function
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Kidney damage
- Colon infection
- Colon damage
- Liver damage
- Blurred vision
- Fainting spells
- Muscle weakness
- Nerve damage
- Increased risk of developing colon cancer
Treatment and Rehab for Laxative Abuse
Due to the severe health risks that an individual faces as a result of habitual laxative use, it is extremely important that he or she receive treatment and rehab from a professional center specializing in laxative abuse in order to overcome the compulsion to continue consuming this detrimental substance.
Additionally, due to the fact that the majority of people who abuse laxatives are also suffering from an eating disorder, it is absolutely necessary that treatment be sought so that the life-threatening effects of the disorder can be prevented. Center for Hope of the Sierras in Nevada has been dedicated to providing life-changing treatment and rehab at our center to adolescents and adults who are struggling with eating disorders.
There are a number of different types of treatment and rehab interventions used at centers that treat eating disorders and laxative abuse that can be implemented in order to help individuals overcome a laxative abuse problem and eating disorder concern. One of the most beneficial levels of care is found through residential treatment and rehab. In this setting, individuals are provided with around-the-clock support from both medical and mental health professionals who monitor their progress, ensure their safety, and offer ongoing encouragement. In this setting, individuals can learn how to overcome their compulsive behaviors regarding laxative use, while also learning about healthy lifestyles and positive weight management. If an individual does not require the intensity of the care found in a residential treatment and rehab program, or if he or she has completed programming in residential care and requires a step-down option, outpatient services are available. By engaging in outpatient services, individuals have the ability to live at home and adhere to their daily responsibilities, while still acquiring the support and encouragement that is needed in order to remain successful in their recovery.
Within any level of treatment and rehab that is offered at a treatment center for eating disorders and laxative abuse concerns, individuals will be afforded access to an array of therapeutic interventions, a variety of experiential therapies, psychiatric services, and nutritional counseling. All of these facets together work to provide individuals with a comprehensive plan of care that nurtures true and lasting healing.
Why Choose Center for Hope of the Sierras in Nevada for Laxative Abuse Treatment and Rehab
At Center for Hope of the Sierras, we respect the courage that it takes to enter treatment and rehab for laxative abuse, we welcome each person chooses to heal with us, and we pledge to remain true to our mission of providing you with a nurturing and supportive environment where you will be treated with the utmost dignity and compassion at our laxative abuse treatment and rehab center.
To learn more about Center for Hope of the Sierras in Nevada, and the comprehensive care we offer for the treatment and rehab of laxative abuse, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to answering all of your questions and helping you determine if our program is the perfect place for you.