Imagine this scenario: A caring mother wants to lose weight. At 260 pounds, she's concerned for her health and how it could impact her family. Her "quick-fix" solution: Laxatives. But as Dr. Mehmet Oz reveals on his Jan. 29 show, what seem like safe over-the-counter remedies can turn into dangerous, potentially deadly pills for someone who becomes addicted. Learn more about laxative abuse and eating disorders in this article, including help from renowned eating disorders expert Tennie McCarty, author of "Shades of Hope: A Program to Stop Dieting and Start Living" and CEO of Shades of Hope Treatment Center.
- Anorexia involves extreme weight loss and a distorted body image. Anorexics starve themselves, unable to achieve what they view as their ideal weight.
- Bulimia involves periods of purging and binge eating, with purging accomplished through extreme exercise, vomiting and/or laxative abuse.
- Binge eating involves compulsive overeating without purging.
Eating disorders specialist and author Tennie McCarty notes that when it comes to laxative abuse, bulimics take them in an attempt to eliminate food before it can be absorbed. The dangers range from inflammation and damage to the colon and intestines to dehydration. And as Dr. Oz warns, more women are engaging in laxative abuse in a drastic attempt to shed pounds. It may start with just one - but some sufferers take as many as 100 laxatives daily as they build up a tolerance. The physical damage and emotional anguish can lead to other problems. Get help and learn more by reading "Shades of Hope: A Program to Stop Dieting and Start Living" (click here to get the book now.)