How Dangerous Is Bulimia?

How dangerous is bulimia?Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating commonly followed by vomiting or the use of laxatives to rid the body of the food. Bulimia is more likely to occur in women than men and is usually the result of an underlying mental health concern. Bulimia can be more difficult to diagnose than other eating disorders, as many individuals suffering from the condition tend to be average weight.

Repercussions and Effects of Bulimia

Many significant side effects of bulimia are the direct result of consistent and intentional vomiting. These may include the following:

  • Extreme dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Constipation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Dental erosion
  • Swollen salivary glands

Bulimia and anorexia are often interconnected. When the two co-occur, overextension of the stomach may result. When an individual goes without food for long periods of time, the stomach begins to shrink. When this long period of starvation is interrupted by binge eating, the stomach can hyperextend almost to the point of rupture. The effects of stomach hyperextension can be especially dangerous in young individuals whose internal organs have not fully developed.

Extreme cases of bulimia may lead to Boerhaave syndrome, a condition characterized by a perforation in the esophagus. Boerhaave syndrome is associated with a high risk for mortality, as any type of tear or perforation in the esophagus is difficult to repair. Additionally individuals dealing with bulimia can experience epileptic seizures, cardiac arrhythmia and muscle weakness.

Mental Health Disorders Related to Bulimia

Bulimia is often a sign of or cause of physical and mental health concerns. Individuals who are candidates for bulimia nervosa are much more likely to experience anxiety disorders or depression. An Australian study conducted at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 2000 revealed a six fold increase in the risk for anxiety disorders and a greater likelihood for substance abuse when individuals with bulimia nervosa were compared with the general population.

End the Dangers of Bulimia

If you are struggling with bulimia or are worried about a loved one’s bulimia, we can help. We are available 24 hours a day to provide answers to your questions and quality resources for recovery. The call is free and confidential, and we are here to help. Learn how you can end the dangers of bulimia; call now.