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Over-the-Counter Substance Abuse Growing in Eating Disorder Patients [Jul. 2nd, 2005|12:15 am]
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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."


[User Picture]From: alicia0123
2005-07-02 05:25 am (UTC)
That's scarry that so many people abuse those products, or even use them at all. Especially all of the teens that use them and don't even know much info about them! Thanks for posting that!
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[User Picture]From: hope_healing
2005-07-03 09:59 pm (UTC)
I used to be hooked on diet pills with ephedra and caffeine and can remember how angry I was when ephedra was banned. I also have used or rather abused laxatives, water pills, and appetite suppresants. In fact, now I am back to taking caffeine pills. I am now chewing gum containing caffeine, guarana, and ginseng. Why? One because I am sleep deprived but also because it is curbing my appetite and gives me an unlimited supply of energy. Lastly, if it starts to wear off I suffer severe headaches so it is better just to keep chewing the gum. I can personally relate to all this and remember the other day standing in the store holding a package of diet pills in my hands while looking at the laxatives and water pills. I am so thankful I left the store empty handed. I really don't want to go back there :(
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[User Picture]From: katesclamshack
2005-07-11 08:48 am (UTC)


LMAO!! OMG!! I remember Dr. Wandler! Oh lordy lordy! I remember him being a bit of a quack, he was my doc there for a little then I guess his posistion moved up. Yeah, I was a pill junky. Damn Diuretics almost killed me TWICE! They kept putting me in the hospital with I.V.'s which would leave me with the worst edema all through my body then they'd just let me out. I was 16 and the pills put my potassium at deathly low level's, my doc, who specialized in e.d's was shocked and amazed I didn't go into cardiac arrest or just drop dead. I was addicted to diet pills (ephedra based) since I was 12 years old up until last year, I suffered a mini stroke which thank god didn't cause any permenant damage. I did the Laxative thing for only a few month, I hated them, but I figured if I was eating and not puking I had to keep myself from bloating up somehow, despite the horrible cramps and pains and sickness they caused the empty feeling I had afterwards kept me coming back for more. I sewed diet pills and laxatives in the bottom hem of a dress I had when I went to Remuda (adolescent center July '99) They never found them. I only took them once or twice, but they never knew I had them. I have a feeling, at least for the teens, that the numbers are probably higher than that, I know that I lied when asked if I ever took or abused any of them. It's sad that this obession has so many people bound and gagged. The scarier fact I found out was how many teens when I was there had abused or simply tried ipecac. I had at least 4 girls mention it to me (ages 13-16) I was shocked, the worst part is, I at that point had only not tried it because i couldn't find any anywhere. People need to know that these don't fix any problems only make them a million times worse. I fell into the marketing trap, "Burns Fat without Exercise" "Eat and still Lose" "Gets rid of bloating" My favorite: "Fast, Safe and Effective. MY ASS!!!!!
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