man on a toilet, overcome constipation, agonizing constipation. laxative addiction

Q. Years ago I had a serious eating problem (anorexia) and began to use laxatives to help me keep weight off. I eventually became dependent on them and now would like to discontinue their use. When I try to stop using laxatives, I am, of course, unable to have a bowel movement on my own and end up taking a laxative again. How can I break this cycle?

A. Your dilemma demonstrates the danger of laxative abuse. Regular use of laxatives for months or years can reduce the digestive tract’s ability to function normally. The best approach to overcome this problem is fiber, fluid and patience. It can take time for your body to adjust. Here are some suggestions for facilitating the process:

* Boil two tablespoons of flax in three quarts of water. Add two ounces to orange juice each morning.
* Take psyllium (Metamucil, Per Diem Fiber, etc).
* Chew sugarless gum.

We’d like to send you our Guide to Constipation for more advice on overcoming irregularity without relying on laxatives.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Total
USD
Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.