Laxative abuse is an uncommon but clinically important cause of chronic diarrhea, a condition often associated with other gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as with disturbances in electrolyte and acid-base balance. A high index of suspicion, a detailed history, and the detection of laxative in stool and/or urine will establish the diagnosis once routine laboratory, endoscopic, and radiologic investigations have excluded common causes of chronic diarrhea. Confirmation of the diagnosis may rule out the need for more extensive, invasive, and costly investigations. However, management is frequently difficult owing to the laxative abuser's complex underlying psychopathology.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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