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Over-the-Counter Substance Abuse Growing in Eating Disorder Patients
Thursday June 23, 10:00 am ET
Remuda Ranch, the Nation's Leading Eating Disorder Treatment Center Reveals Data on Abuse of Over-the-Counter Substances
PHOENIX, June 23 /PRNewswire/
-- Women and teens with eating disorders are spending billions of dollars on over-the-counter medications to help control their weight. Eating disorder patients tend to abuse laxatives, appetite suppressants, diet and water pills. Remuda Ranch, Programs for Anorexia and Bulimia, the nation's leading eating disorder treatment facility, revealed that in 2004, 32 percent of its adult patients used laxatives to control weight. Additionally, 27 percent used appetite suppressants, 14 percent used fat-burning products and 10 percent used water pills or diuretics.
"Using over-the-counter substances is an ineffective means of weight control," said Dr. Kevin Wandler, vice-president of medical services at Remuda Ranch. "Abusing laxatives and other herbal remedies can do serious harm to the body." Some of the dangers include cathartic colon, dehydration, electrolyte abnormalities, hemorrhoids, intestinal injury, irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic acidosis and metabolic alkalosis.
In 2004, the International Journal of Eating Disorders reported 37 percent of teens were using appetite suppressants. Similarly, at Remuda Ranch, 26 percent of its teen patients, ages 13 to 17, were using appetite suppressants and 17 percent were using laxatives as a means to control weight.
"We are finding that many teens are using over-the-counter substances to control their weight just because their friends are using them," adds Dr. Wandler. "They don't know much about the products they are taking."
Remuda Ranch also reports that women and teens using over-the-counter substances stated their physicians never discussed herbal products or questioned them about the use of herbal remedies.
"Both physicians and patients need to get better about talking about herbal products such as appetite suppressants, dd programs exclusively dedicated to the professional treatment of females suffering from eating disorders. Each resident is treated by a team of six professionals including a psychiatric and primary care provider, registered dietitian, Masters-trained therapist, psychologist and registered nurse. The professional staff equips each resident with the right tools to live a healthy, productive life. For more information, call 1-800-445-1900. iet pills and laxatives," adds Dr. Wandler. "Herbal products such as laxatives can be very helpful when used as directed. Abusing these products can be dangerous to one's health."