Bulimia is an eating disorder which strikes people who have a problem with self-image. They are fixated with their weight and tend to judge themselves harshly for imperfections that most likely no one else sees. Bulimics may appear normal to their peers, but they live in their own world of guilt and shame.
In order to quiet those feelings, these people with bulimia go through cycles of bingeing and purging. Eating large amounts of food temporarily silences those personal demons they fight with, but soon the real world creeps in.
Then they try to find ways to lose those calories they consumed. Bulimics purge through vomiting, exercising excessively and even abuse laxatives, diuretics and enemas. This binge-purge cycle takes a toll on the health of people with Bulimia. They know what they are doing is wrong, but feel helpless to stop it. Sometimes, it takes a health emergency to shake them up and seek help. Bulimia is serious business and can be fatal if treatment is not sought.
There are a number of complications that stem from Bulimia. Just a few are listed below:
1. Mouth problems – Continual vomiting can cause a host of problems in the mouth. Stomach acids eat away at the enamel on teeth causing erosion. This erosion can lead to brittle or broken teeth as well as cavities. The gums and inside the mouth can also suffer from sores that won’t heal.
2. Throat and Stomach problems – With repeated vomiting, the stomach acids start to eat away at the lining of the esophagus causing bleeding ulcers and even tears. Both the stomach and the esophagus could also rupture or perforate, which can be fatal even if treated immediately. Repeating vomiting may cause constant throat itch.
3. Malnutrition – The body is deprived of vital nutrients during the binge-purge cycle of a bulimic. When not enough vitamins and minerals are absorbed through the body, the skin, hair and nails suffer. Skin and nails are often dry and brittle and losing hair is not uncommon either.
4. Cardiovascular issues – With the purge cycle comes dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Potassium, which is vital to a healthy heart, is often low too. Irregular heartbeats and low blood pressure can cause fainting spells as well as lead up to heart attacks.
5. Death – Dying from bulimia is obviously the worst that can happen. In addition to the four major areas listed above, there are a host of other complications that could arise from Bulimia. Stroke is a possibility as well as liver or kidney failure. Osteoporosis, seizures, ulcers, infertility, arthritis in the jaw (aka TMJ Syndrome), diabetes, insomnia and much more are additional complications due to bulimia.