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Int J Eat Disord. 2001 Mar;29(2):236-8.

Evidence for long-term pancreatic damage caused by laxative abuse in subjects recovered from anorexia nervosa.

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Eating Disorders Research Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, United Kingdom.



This study examined whether a prior history of laxative abuse results in long-term changes in gastrointestinal function.


The functioning of the enteroinsular axis was examined by measuring the insulin response to a standard meal. The study involved 18 subjects who had fully recovered from anorexia nervosa (AN) and an age and weight-matched control group. In the recovered group, 10 of 18 subjects had a history of laxative abuse.


Subjects with a prior history of laxative abuse show a more gradual increase and decrease in insulin secretion, but no differences in glucose response or hunger ratings.


Because there are no differences in the glucose response to the meal, it is hypothesized that the difference in insulin response is due to changes in the enteroinsular axis. These data indicate that chronic laxative abuse induces long-term changes in gastrointestinal function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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