Skip to content

Bulimia Nervosa Health Center

Font Size

Bulimia: Overuse of Laxatives - Topic Overview

People who have bulimia nervosa may overuse laxatives to get rid of food eaten during a binge eating episode. Laxatives speed up the passage of stool through the body by irritating the lining of the intestines.

Laxatives do not reduce the number of calories the body absorbs from food. But laxatives may cause a person to lose weight because they increase the amount of water eliminated through the intestines. Overusing laxatives can cause a person to lose too much water and certain body chemicals, such as potassium and sodium, that are needed for keeping the muscles and heart healthy.

Symptoms of laxative overuse include:

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Bulimia: Overuse of Laxatives Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Bulimia Nervosa Symptoms
    Fibro Common Misdiagnoses
    Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Overview
    Bulimia Nervosa What Happens
    teen girl in bad mood
    Young woman sitting on floor eating from fridge
    Woman consoling depressed friend
    mother talking to daughter

    WebMD Special Sections