Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder and often fatal illness that presents with recurrent, frequent, and uncontrolled episodes of food consumption. In Bulimia Nervosa, this binge eating behavior is generally followed by acts of purging either via forced vomiting, exercising, or the misuse of laxatives and diuretics.
Complications for Bulimia Nervosa can include injury to various aspects of the digestive system such as damage to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Frequent and recurrent acts of vomiting can lead to irritation and inflammation of the esophagus by stomach acid. The cycles of binge eating and purging attributed to Bulimia Nervosa can also produce complications such as injury to the stomach itself; the stomach can become inflamed, causing gastritis.
Other complications of Bulimia Nervosa include damage to the intestines from overuse of laxatives and diuretics. Individuals with Bulimia Nervosa can regularly abuse laxatives and diuretics in an effort to rid themselves of excess weight. This however, can lead to dehydration, as well as damage to the lining of the digestive tract. Complications of the colon can eventually progress to require its removal.
Asides from digestive complications due to Bulimia Nervosa, other complications include lung damage, kidney and heart complications, as well as damage to the skin and teeth. By participating in self-induced vomiting, an individual with Bulimia Nervosa can aspirate food particles, gastric acid, and bacteria, which can ultimately lead to pneumonia. Furthermore, the frequent purging of food can result in kidney stones or even kidney failure due to chronic bouts of dehydration and hypokalemia.
There are a lot of dental and skin complications associated with Bulimia Nervosa, either from self-induced vomiting or from misuse of over-the-counter laxatives. Excessive use of most laxatives can result in sores and discoloration of the skin, while vomiting excessively can erode the teeth’s enamel and dentin.
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Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:
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