Complications of anorexia and bulimia

Academy for Eating Disorders. In general, individuals struggling with eating disorders are more likely than those without eating disorders to think about and attempt suicide; their risk for suicide is approximately 23 times higher than the in the general population of the same age Harris and Barraclough, One particular study found the suicide rate for women with eating disorders was 58 times greater than those without Herzog et al,

Complications of anorexia and bulimia

Two of the most prominent behaviors of bulimia are bingeing eating a lot of food and purging self-induced vomitingbut bulimia encompasses so much more than that. It can also take a tremendous emotional toll and lead to severe, life-threatening conditions.

Bulimia can present itself through the following symptoms: In addition to mental stress, continuous bingeing and purging puts great strain on the body. But the effects are still very real. Central nervous system mental and emotional health While characterized as an eating disorder, bulimia is also a mental health disorder that causes a cycle of health concerns.

You may experience depressionanxiety, or obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Moodiness and irritability may occur due to lack of vitamins or behaviors that come along with bulimia.


For example, constant monitoring of food and weight can become an obsession. Someone may also binge in secret and then hide evidence of food and laxatives. In order to achieve their ideal weight, people may also engage in substance abuse. Compulsive exercising or preoccupation with appearance are also common symptoms.

In fact, people with bulimia may become quite focused on eating to the exclusion of other activities that they used to enjoy. Having to keep secrets contributes to the cycle of stress and anxiety. Over time, guilt can build up from keeping secrets from your friends and loved ones.

This may also be accompanied by feelings of embarrassment and shame. Suicidal behavior may form as a culmination of the stress and extreme unhealthy body image.

Digestive system The cycle of bingeing and purging eventually takes a toll on your digestive system. Not only is it physically demanding, but the effects of bulimia can bring on general weakness and fatigue.

A sore throat, stomach painor both may be the first obvious physical side effects of bulimia. As the disorder progresses, chronic self-induced vomiting can cause a variety of symptoms in the digestive tract, beginning at the mouth. Over time, the high acid content of vomit can damage teeth and cause enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease.

Puffy cheeks or jaws may be noticed secondary to swollen salivary glands.

Bulimia nervosa - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Doing this over and over can cause callouses on the back of your hand in the knuckle area because of your knuckles coming in contact with your incisors. The acidity scars the skin on your fingers and hands.

Another way that some people try to rid the body of excessive calories from food is to use diuretics, diet pills, or laxatives. Overuse of these products can make it difficult to have a bowel movement without using them. Misdirected use of diuretics may also damage the kidneys.

Over-strained bowel movements can also result in hemorrhoids. Circulatory system Frequent purging can cause dehydration. This leads to weak muscles and extreme fatigue. It can also throw your electrolytes out of balance and put strain on your heart.

This can cause an irregular heartbeat arrhythmiaand in some severe cases, a weakened heart muscle and heart failure.

Medical Complications | The Center for Eating Disorders | Baltimore, Maryland

The electrolytes that tend to go missing from constant vomiting are potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Bulimia can cause low blood pressurea weak pulseand anemia. Vomiting can be a violent event.

The sheer force of it can even cause the blood vessels in your eyes to rupture. Reproductive system The nutritional deficiencies people with bulimia experience can cause a hormonal imbalance. The fatigue can kill your sex drive. Bulimia can interfere with your menstrual cycle or stop it altogether.

Pregnant women who continue to engage in bingeing and purging behaviors face additional complications for themselves and their babies.Anorexia Nervosa Medical Complications. Anorexia’s main characteristic is the restriction of food and the refusal to maintain a minimal normal body weight.

Any actual gain or even perceived gain of weight is met with intense fear by the Anorexic. Anorexia Nervosa Medical Complications. Anorexia’s main characteristic is the restriction of food and the refusal to maintain a minimal normal body weight. Any actual gain or even perceived gain of weight is met with intense fear by the Anorexic.

Medical Issues From Anorexia, Bulimia and Other Eating Disorders. Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders that occur in many different forms, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and eating disorders not otherwise specified.

Complications of anorexia and bulimia

Some medical complications related to bulimia arise from the abuse of medications. Inherent to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are a plethora of medical complications which correlate with the severity of weight loss or the frequency and mode of purging. Yet, the encouraging fact is that most of these medical complications are treatable and reversible with definitive care and.

bulimia nervosa.8 In both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, much of the increased mortality rate is attributable to the medical complications inherent to these 2 illnesses.

Medical Complications associated with BINGE EATING DISORDER (BED) Eating Disorders & Suicide In addition to medical causes like cardiac failure, its important to be aware that suicide accounts for as many as 1/3 of the deaths related to eating disorders (source: Academy for Eating Disorders).

Bulimia Nervosa: Symptoms & Signs of This Eating Disorder