HEALTH

Study finds eating disorder sufferers abuse diet pills, other OTC products

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX Between 11 million and 13 million people in the United States have eating disorders, and many of them abuse or become dependent upon over-the-counter substances, the Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders announced Wednesday.

“It may surprise many people, including some healthcare providers, that over-the-counter products and supplements for dieting purposes are frequently abused by those with eating disorders,” stated Kevin Wandler, spokesman for Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders. “A full 64% of eating disorder patients abuse diet pills. The health consequences of diet pill abuse are enormous and include high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, thickening of the heart muscle and kidney damage.”

Other substances abused by individuals with eating disorders include laxatives and diuretics. Although laxatives and diuretics are not often considered drugs of abuse or dependence, individuals can become dependent on them. A recent study found that in a sample of 200 bulimics, 31% used diuretics.  

“It can take the body months to recover from laxative and other over-the-counter substance abuse,” Wandler said.

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Alka Seltzer

BY Michael Johnsen

As seen on shelf at Walgreens, having a major pharma player like Bayer HealthCare field what essentially is a hangover-relief product adds credibility, not to mention a little more shelf presence, to similar products like Living Essentials’ Chaser Plus.

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An apple a day keeps kidney stones away, study concludes

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Researchers revealed last week another reason to eat well: A healthy diet helps prevent kidney stones. Loading up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, while limiting salt, red and processed meats, and sweetened beverages, is an effective way to ward off kidney stones, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Because kidney stones are linked to higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, increased body weight, and other risk factors for heart disease, the findings have considerable health implications, authors stated.

Investigators collected information from individuals enrolled in three clinical studies: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (45,821 men followed for 18 years), the Nurses’ Health Study I (94,108 older women followed for 18 years), and the Nurses’ Health Study II (101,837 younger women followed for 14 years). Eric Taylor of Main Medical Center and lead researcher assigned a score to each participant based on eight components of a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) style diet: high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains and low intake of salt, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats. Individuals with higher DASH scores consumed diets that were higher in calcium, potassium, magnesium, oxalate, and vitamin C and lower in sodium.

A total of 5,645 incident kidney stones developed in the participants in the three studies. In each study, participants with the highest DASH scores were between 40% and 45% less likely to develop kidney stones than participants with the lowest DASH scores. The reductions in kidney stone risk were independent of age, body size, fluid intake and other factors.

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