Lazy Bowel Syndrome occurs when the body becomes dependent on the use of laxatives to dispose of waste from the body because the bowels can no longer function on their own. Laxative abuse is quite common in people with bulimia, and a lazy colon and bowels will most certainly cause constipation.
Lazy bowel syndrome is one of the consequences of bulimics using laxatives as a form of purging. The idea behind it is that it will help them to lose weight.
The reality is that they are not likely to be successful in the long run, and they are ruining the natural biological functions of their body in the process.
A lazy colon (bowels) is the result of something that is pretty much like an addiction.
The longer laxatives are used, the more you will have to increase the dosage each time in order to achieve the desired effects. Eventually, the body will require them in order to stimulate any kind of bowel movement at all.
When you can no longer get enough laxatives, constipation occurs. Of course, there are many other things that may cause constipation in people with eating disorders, and most revolve around malnutrition, improper dieting and/or dehydration.
Most of the symptoms of lazy bowel syndrome are associated with the effects of constipation. These can include, but may not be limited to:
If you experience any of the above symptoms on a persistent basis, it is recommended that you see a physician for a check-up. He or she should be able to run tests (if necessary) and make a proper diagnosis in order to prescribe a treatment plan that is right for you.
Treatment for lazy bowel syndrome usually begins with the removal of the waste that is blocked. For people with a history of laxative abuse, this may be tricky, since it's natural for some physicians to recommend them as the first option.
If you have been abusing laxatives and are now feeling symptoms of constipation, it is imperative that you do not use laxatives again in order to treat this. Get to your doctor right away and be completely honest about your situation.
Doctors usually have a wide range of alternate treatments that may be effective, but they need to know everything about your health in order to make the right choice.
Sometimes enemas can be used to treat constipation, but these don't usually work for waste that is blocked in the intestinal tract. Colon cleansing is sometimes suggested as well.
Ultimately, the bowels must be re-trained to eliminate waste on their own, instead of relying on laxatives. This can often be accomplished by increasing water intake, fiber intake and exercise. However, if the person with the eating disorder has an obsession with exercise, alternative methods may be discussed.
A dietitian or nutritionist could probably recommend a meal plan that will help with both the eating disorder and lazy bowel syndrome.
Read further details about anorexia, bulimia and laxative abuse.
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