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Laxatives: Treat Them With Respect

By HERWriter
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Dr. Vicki Berkus is concerned about the overuse or abuse of laxatives. She wants you to be aware that if you are overusing or abusing laxatives, and are tempted to just quit using them -- Don't.

If you stop taking them suddenly rather than gradually, the body can end up with excess fluid which can overflow into other areas of the body. Get help from a doctor to reduce laxatives gradually and stop taking them.

(Transcribed from video interview)

Dr. Berkus:

That’s tricky because as I mentioned earlier, laxatives work on the large intestine or colon and they regulate fluid. So what we need to do is to help people on a laxative weaning schedule.

It can be dangerous if people stop laxatives cold turkey because the colon doesn’t know what’s happening and the body can absorb too much water and people can fluid overload. This increased fluid in the vessels can leak out into the lung area, into the abdomen, and can cause real problems with breathing or with just sensations and pain. So, anybody that’s using laxatives in an unhealthy manner needs to get help from a psychiatrist or physician in order to come off the laxatives.

About Dr. Vicki Berkus, M.D., Ph.D., C.E.D.S.:
Dr. Vicki Berkus has a private practice in psychiatry in Oro Valley, Arizona. She is the past-President and on the board of the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals. She also works with other professional to educate them on the best ways to help with patients who have eating disorders. Dr. Berkus received her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma, her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Okalahoma State University, and completed her psychiatric residency at the University of Arizona.

View Dr. Berkus's Book:
Ten Commitments to Mental Fitness at


View More of Dr. Berkus Videos:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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