control their weight, eating disorder patients rely on a range of techniques and
strategies called elimination behaviour; among them there is also the self-prescription
of laxatives and diuretics.
Roughly one third of bulimic people use laxatives,
and roughly 10% take diuretics as a way of ridding their body of unwanted calories
from eating (or binges).
Laxatives are drugs which ruin intestinal activity
and faecal elimination, while diuretics stimulate renal activities and increase
The use of these drugs should be limited to specific therapeutic
uses and most should only be sold by prescription. Nevertheless, a lot of eating
disorder patients obtain them and sometimes use them excessively. It is not unusual
to find a bulimic girl who says she has used from five to ten laxative tablets
every day for years.
The excuses most commonly advanced by these patients
to justify this abuse are usually constipation (for laxatives) or water retention
Both symptoms are really consequences of the patient's
inadequate diet that is followed by patients and represent physiological defensive
reactions of the body which signal serious metabolism dysfunction.
when you use drugs to force the body to react in a way beyond its possibilities
of compensation, you enter a more serious pathological circuit.
that originally were taken to overcome constipation, in the long-term, cause damage
to the inside of the intestinal wall which then causes obstinate and irreversible
constipation; while diuretics, that originally were taken to overcome water retention
cause, in the long-term, renal damage and then alteration in the balance of fluids
and salt balance that regulate water retention.
It is not enough to repeat
that using these drugs for weight control is not only stupid, but it is also self-destructive,
like an attempt to whip a tired horse to make him walk. In the end, not only does
he still not walk, but, what is worse, we may no longer have a horse.