Identifying the Physical Health Effects of Bulimia

Willow Place on August 19, 2022
Identifying the Physical Health Effects of Bulimia

Bulimia Nervosa, commonly referred to as “bulimia”, is an eating disorder that comes with a number of health effects. These effects can be debilitating to a person’s life, impacting almost every aspect of their life including social, mental, and physical health. However, some of the most debilitating and dangerous effects of bulimia are the effects that affect physical health.

What is Bulimia?

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by episodes of binge eating followed by purging, fasting, or restrictive eating behaviors. Binging episodes involve eating large amounts of food in short periods of time. In many cases, during binging episodes, people with bulimia feel that they cannot control what or how much they eat. And, as a result, individuals may feel shame or guilt associated with these binging episodes. So, they participate in purging or restrictive behaviors as a means to gain back that control. Purging can include a number of different behaviors including restricting calories and meals, self-induced vomiting, restricting eating altogether, over-exercising, and the use of laxatives.

Along with the characteristics of binge eating and purging, people who develop bulimia also experience severe emotional distress. This is often thought to be the result of a lack of nutrients brought on by purging behaviors. Some of the negative emotional symptoms that come with bulimia can include feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and a negative self-image.

Some of the Physical Effects of Bulimia

Along with emotional and mental health symptoms, the effects of bulimia can also be physical. Restricting the body from the nutrition it needs to function can lead to debilitating symptoms that can lead to damaging physical symptoms, disease, and malnourishment. Some of the physical health symptoms of bulimia can include:

  • headaches/migraines
  • racing heartbeat
  • pains in the chest
  • ulcers in the mouth and stomach
  • constipation
  • dental issues (decay and gum disease)
  • digestive system issues
  • lessened sex drive
  • irregular menstrual cycle

Longterm Physical Health Effects of Bulimia

While there are a number of physical effects of bulimia that can be addressed, some of the physical effects of bulimia can be long-lasting. And, if not addressed, can lead to chronic illness and lifelong physical consequences. Some of these long-term physical effects of bulimia include kidney disease and failure, pancreatitis, anemia, nutritional imbalance, irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmias), infertility, and tears in the esophagus.

Some of the long-term physical effects of bulimia can last the rest of a person’s lifetime. And, can be extremely dangerous, even enough to severely debilitate a person’s life as they may need lifelong medical treatment, surgery, or experience untreatable chronic pain. This is why it’s so important to address bulimia symptoms as soon as they develop. And, not wait until they get worse and develop into lifelong ailments and issues.

Getting Help for Bulimia Nervosa With Outpatient Treatment

Are you or a loved one experiencing the physical effects of bulimia? If you want to free yourself from the effects of bulimia, not only the physical but the emotional and mental effects as well, treatment is available. Willow Place for Women offers outpatient eating disorder treatment for women who are living with eating disorders, including bulimia. We offer treatment services that can help to educate and assist women living with bulimia in order for them to retrain their minds in order to heal. In response, individuals who are living with bulimia experience physical healing as well. To learn more about our outpatient eating disorder treatment programs in Asheville, North Carolina, check out our website.

Request a Call Back

If you or someone you love is battling substance use, mental health, or eating disorders, please feel free to contact one of our trained admission specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance use disorder or a mental health issue can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

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