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diarrhea caused by something the patient is doing to his or her own body, usually surreptitious laxative abuse.
factitious diarrhoeaThe spurious increase in faecal production due to either excessive use/abuse of laxatives or dilution of the faeces. FD is most common in females and is related to excessive and inappropriate use of laxatives, and occurs in:
(1) Anorectics, who are often female age 18–40 with an altered self image, for whom weight control is a central focus and laxatives are an alternative to vomiting; or
(2) Older perimenopausal females, who emphatically deny laxative abuse. The motives for laxative abuse in older women are complex, and may be related to secondary gain of attention or a component of somatisation disorder (“hysteria”).
Side effects of prolonged laxative abuse
Chronic diarrhoea, colicky abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, weakness, hypokalaemia, skin pigmentation, arthralgia, cyclic oedema, nephrolithiasis (ammonium urates).
Self-induced diarrhea, as by self-medication with laxatives.See: Munchausen syndrome
See also: diarrhea