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Question
Posted by: dark_angel | 2004/02/17

Stopped using laxatives

I have posted before regarding my bulimia. I have finally taken a step, and am currently seeing someone. I now need to know how to get my digestive system back on track, seeing that I have been abusing laxatives for so long. I want to do this the natural way, eating the right foods, cutting out the wrong stuff, etc. Right now I'm hurting like hell, cause I stopped using Senokot cold-turkey. I just don't want to use a laxative again. I can get this to work by knowing how. And how long will it take before I return to normal again? Black Forest tea is the same almost as Senokot, so I won't use that. But I need to start doing something soon, as this is hurting like hell. Please help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Bright Angel
I am so pleased that you have taken this positive step to cure the bulimia and start living a healthy life. Well done! I would not stop the Senokot cold turkey - if you were for example using 5 tablets a day, then use 4 tablets for 2-3 days, then 3 tablets for 2-3 days, etc, until you have weaned yourself of this harsh laxative. In the meanwhile start using wheat bran (buy at health shop), starting with 1 teaspoon a day (sprinkle over your breakfast cereal) for 2-3 days, then 2t for 2-3 days, etc, until you are having 2-3 tablespoons a day. Also eat more dried fruit (soak, boil till soft and eat with breakfast) and high-fibre bran. If none of these regimens help, then I would suggest that you use Fybogel (buy at chemist), which is a gentle laxative - but don't overuse it again - take just sufficient to provide natural, regular bowel motions.
Hang in there - healthy, normal life is in reach.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: dark_angel | 2004/02/18

Thanks alot for the advice! I'm 100% focused on this, it's hard already... But I can do it. I'll start with the bran and stop with the senokot as you advised. I'm glad for your reply, and assistance, and hard words! It helped me, lots. I know the road ahead will be rocky, but I've got a loving husband, and great friends and family members by my side. Take care, and thanks once more.

Reply to dark_angel
Posted by: Nutrition Nut | 2004/02/18

Dear Angel

DietDoc will no doubt advise you to go for low-fat, high-fibre foods. The basis of this is the Prudent Dietary Principles.

It's a pretty sensible idea to eat a "primitive" diet, don't you think? After all, we still have the caveman/cavewoman metabolism, even after 11 000 years of agriculture.

Now, obviously, you don't want to gain a lot of weight, but you do want to eat nutritious foods.

So, avoid eating JUNK carbohydrates. That means sugar, refined flour, bread, pasta and so on. The low-fat evangelists forget to tell you that you shouldn't go crazy on pasta just because it is "low-fat".

Also, avoid Aspartame, margarine (and other hydrogenated vegetable fats), MSG and hydrolysed vegetable protein (also called textured vegetable protein). Become a label reader. You only want to put the best foods in your body.

You can eat plenty of vegetables, just go easy on the starchy ones. Fruit, vegetables and whole grains are what cave-dwellers would have eaten, along with quality proteins and fats. Olive oil is good as are other cold-pressed oils. You need fat in your diet. Without the essential fatty acids, your hormones don't work properly. Meat fish and chicken are good sources of protein, but preferrably "clean" meat, ie organic (without the pesticides, herbicides and growth hormones). Whole grains means WHOLE grains (unrefined). Crushed wheat and so on. Not generally available in supermarkets. Definitely not from bakeries.

With all the laxatives you've been using, you no doubt need to replenish your intestinal flora. You get a supplement for that. You should also get digestive enzymes. Both from your health shop.

If you need additional fibre in your diet, you can use Psyllium husks (health shop again). That's just fibre, not a laxative, so it's safe.

And you need at least a litre of water a day, preferrably two.

Finally, well done! You've made an excellent decision, now stick with it, Angel.

Reply to Nutrition Nut

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