'Outstanding' Wesham teacher died of laxative abuse after eating disorder struggle

A Wesham teacher who battled with an eating disorder is believed to have lost her life to the deadly condition.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 15th January 2021, 8:59 am
A full inquest will take place at the town hall in March

Natalie Turner, 36, was found by her husband at her Sanderling Avenue home on October 27 2020.

At her inquest opening at Blackpool town hall yesterday, coroner Alan Wilson heard how Mrs Turner, a private teacher who was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted, had suffered from an eating disorder.

A post-mortem examination carried out by Dr Mark Sissons found that the cause of death was laxative abuse.

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Mr Wilson said: "The police notified our court that the deceased had been checked on overnight by her husband on October 27, and in due course around 7.15am when he checked on her again she had sadly passed away. Emergency services attended and her death was confirmed."

A full inquest hearing was arranged for March 4.

A spokesman for the Outwood Grange Academis Trust, where Mrs Turner once worked, said: "Natalie was a much-loved and very well-respected member of the Outwood family and was an outstanding teacher. She worked tirelessly to support our students and always put them first."

WHAT IS LAXATIVE ABUSE?

Laxative abuse occurs when a person attempts to lose weight or achieve an 'empty' feeling through the repeated, frequent use of laxative pills. This can result in electrolyte and mineral imbalances, dehydration and organ damage.

Tom Quinn from UK-based eating disorder support service BEAT, said: "Laxative abuse is a form of purging, where someone attempts to rid their body of the food they've consumed. Purging can also include vomiting or excessive exercising, and is seen in eating disorders such as bulimia. People who abuse laxatives may do so with the belief that this will help to get rid of unwanted calories eaten, but this is a myth and laxatives don't help with weight loss.

"It is vital that people are aware of the dangers of abusing laxatives and there should be more education on their effects. Doctors and pharmacists should also be made aware that overuse of laxatives is one of the signs of an eating disorder, so that they are able to intervene and ensure those affected get treatment.

"We would urge anyone who may be concerned about their use of laxatives to contact their GP at the earliest opportunity."

The BEAT helpline can be reached on 0808 801 0677 from 9am until 8pm on weekdays and 4pm until 8pm on weekends and bank holidays.