Woman unable to poop after abusing laxatives for years

A woman who suffered from bulimia as a teen has revealed that abusing laxatives while struggling with her eating disorder has left her unable to defecate for weeks at a time. 

Courtney Enlow, a 32-year-old writer, admitted that she once went an entire month without pooping, and her chronic constipation is an ongoing struggle because her ‘body is still broken’ after years of being dependent on laxatives.

‘It’s not that my body has stopped producing waste; it just doesn’t go anywhere,’ she explained in her essay for Bustle. ‘It stays in the intestines, where it causes painful gas and bloating until I hit my breaking point and seek help.’

Sharing her struggle: Courtney Enlow, 32, suffers from chronic constipation and is unable to defecate for weeks at a time after abusing laxatives in her late teens and early 20s

When she was in high school, Courtney suffered from general anxiety disorder and major depression that wasn’t diagnosed until years later. She explained that her struggle with bulimia was the result of wanting something in her life that she was ‘completely in charge of.’

At 17 years old, Courtney was already purging after every meal when she began abusing laxatives. She started with one laxative a day, but three years later she was taking seven of them at a time.   

‘I wasn’t just drawn to bulimia and laxatives because I wanted to be thinner; I felt a compulsive need to completely remove from my body anything but the parts it needed to run,’ she wrote.

Courtney explained that a box of laxatives comes with a warning label that states that using them for more than a week can cause your body to become dependent on them, and that dependence is why she needed to keep upping her doses. 

 I felt a compulsive need to completely remove from my body anything but the parts it needed to run

However, she didn’t realize that after years of relying on laxatives to go to the bathroom, ‘the body’s allegedly natural ability to expel waste can just… stop.’

The writer suffers from chronic constipation, meaning she has infrequent bowel movements for weeks at a time. Though laxatives can be helpful for those with the condition, her abuse of them has caused an anatomic and physiologic change in her colon known as ‘carthartic colon.’ 

Over the past decade, Courtney has tried herbal supplements, over-the-counter powders, and prescription drugs. She has also had many colonic irrigations and tried numerous elimination diets, but nothing has worked consistently for her.

The longest she has ever gone without pooping has been a month, and she recalled spending that time hoping her body would somehow repair itself.  

‘Since the poo had nowhere else to go, I hoped stuff would just kind of eventually be forced to, you know, come out. But it didn’t,’ she explained. 

When she is suffering from extreme constipation, Courtney said she is both physically and mentally consumed with the condition that often leaves her begging her insides to expel the waste growing inside of her.

However, the more she thinks about her inability to go to the bathroom, the less likely she is able to go.

Courtney noted that her constipation will eventually go on for so long that she will go and see a doctor, who will typically prescribe her a colonoscopy prep. 

The colonoscopy prep involves strong laxatives followed by drinking a half-gallon of liquid that also includes ‘poop inducing compounds.’

The writer explained that the chemical taste of the liquid gets stronger the more you drink. The six times in her life that she has done this, she has always ended up vomiting.

 For me, talking about it is the only real way to eliminate the pain

To make matters worse, Courtney has to plan her dosages around her schedule because she spends an average of 20 minutes in the bathroom when the medication works. There are also unplanned trips to the bathroom after. 

Courtney has been formally diagnosed with ‘irritable bowel syndrome with constipation,’ but the doctors she has seen have had a casual attitude about her chronic condition. 

In addition to the painful gas and bloating, Courtney said her chronic constipation makes her feel shame and fear that her bowel issues are causing her husband, children, and colleagues to have to constantly wait for her to be done in the bathroom. 

Courtney admitted that she still struggles with her eating disorder, and she has purged in the last few months.   

‘We’re not supposed to discuss things like this,’ she wrote at the end of her essay. ‘But over years of being honest about the ugliest parts of my life, the stuff we’re not supposed to discuss, I’ve learned that, for me, talking about it is the only real way to eliminate the pain.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk