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Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by excessive preoccupation with weight, craving for food with periods of binging followed by inappropriate behaviours such as self-induced vomiting to avoid weight gain.


These compensatory behaviours have to occur at least once a week. Other such behaviours include abuse of tablets with aim to lose weight, like laxative, diet pills, water tablets, amongst others. 

Consequences of purging in your body

  • Eroded and Tooth decay (acid)

  • Cuts to mouth & tongue (fingernails)

  • Parotid gland enlargement (lateral sides of face)

  • Coarse voice (damage vocal cords)

  • Increase salivary amylase enzyme levels

  • Seizures, cerebral oedema (due to electrolyte imbalance)

  • Regular vomiting changes brain processes, making more likely to binge eat to occur in the future

  • Depression & Anxiety (35 to 70%)

  • Alcohol & substance misuse (20-30%)

  • Post traumatic stress (37%)

  • Emotional unstable Personality disorder– Borderline type

  • Cuts & abrasions in hands (from teeth)

  • "Russell's sign“ - callus on back of hand (acid damage)

  • Inflammation of oesophagus & ulcers (Acid damage)

  • Mallory-Weiss tears (tears oesophagus)

  • Hematemesis (vomit blood)

  • Boerhaave syndrome (ruptured oesophagus)

  • Acid reflux

  • Oesophageal cancer (rare)

  • Paralysis of stomach & gastric cramps (when eating)

  • Heartburn (Gastric reflux)

  • Gastric ulcers

  • Irregular bowel movements (due to laxative abuse)

  • Irregular heartbeat (due to low  potassium)

  • Sudden death due to cardiac arrest

  • Kidney Failure (electrolyte imbalance, mostly potassium)

  • Oedema (limbs swelling)

  • Dehydration

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