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laxative abuseGI tract A phenomenon often accompanied by factitious diarrhea found in ± 4% of new Pts seen by gastroenterologists and up to 20% of those evaluated in a tertiary referral center Clinical Finger clubbing, skin hyperpigmentation, colonic inflammation, steatorrhea, osteomalacia, protein-losing enteropathy, nephropathy, melanosis coli–sigmoidoscopy, ahaustral right colon–barium enema Lab ↓ K+, ↑ uric acid, kidney stones; ↓ stool osmolality–eg, < 250 mOsm/kg, ↑ stool sulfate, phosphate.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The ingestion of cathartic drugs to relieve perceived constipation when none is present or to prevent the absorption of nutrients, e.g., in bulimia. Patients who consume excessive quantities of laxatives may complain of chronic diarrhea or may present with illnesses caused by electrolyte deficiencies.
See also: abuse
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