Evidence-Based Comprehensive Psychological, Nutritional and Medical Care

Laxative Abuse & Eating Disorders: Consequences and Myths

Laxative abuse occurs when a person uses laxatives frequently in an attempt to get rid of unwanted calories, lose weight, “feel thin”, or “feel empty”. Laxative abuse is commonly found in people suffering from eating disorders including bulimia nervosa, where laxatives are used following an eating binge. In this situation, the person mistakenly believes that the laxative will rush food and calories through the bowels without being absorbed. Additionally, people suffering from anorexia nervosa may also begin laxative abuse in order to feel thin and prevent weight gain. However, in reality, laxative abuse does not actually reduce calorie absorption and instead is a seriously dangerous habit that can result in a variety of health complications.

If you or a loved one is suffering from laxative abuse, contact McCallum Place to learn more about our eating disorder programs in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Marks of Quality Care
  • Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)
  • Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa
  • International Association Of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
  • RenewED, Eating Disorders Support
  • Washington University in St. Louis

As painful as it is to be here and do what they’re asking, I don’t think I’d be able to do it without the McCallum Place support. You don’t have to know how to fix it, just be willing to listen and try their suggestions.

– A Former Resident