Bulimia nervosa side effects in women: mental and physical
Bulimia Nervosa is a very complex eating disorder that has a lot of life-threatening side effects. A person, who is suffering with bulimia eats an abnormally large quantity of food in a very short span of time, and then gets rid of the eaten food by self-induced purging. It mostly happens because she wants to avoid weight gain. Methods of purging might include vomiting, use of laxatives, heavy sessions of exercise and use of diuretics. It is one of the commonest eating disorders in women. Mostly, young girls and teenagers are the victims but can be seen in any age group. The disease has severe physical and mental effects on the patients and can progress to an even dangerous state that may also cause death in some cases.
Side effects on mental health:
Bulimia nervosa affects the mental health severely in a very negative way. It deteriorates one’s self-esteem and body image. The patient ends up with a high grade personality disorder, a very low confidence level, anxiety, depression and might become socially inactive. The disease makes one very conscious and concerned about one’s own body image, figure and the way they look. It makes the person lonely and irritable. The patients don’t want to interact in the society and like to stay away.
Other side effects include:
- Memory loss.
- Difficulty in maintaining relationships and conversations.
- Irritability at people around.
- Feelings of being left out and that nobody understands you.
- Regrets of wasting past years.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Side effects on physical health:
Physical consequences of bulimia can be very harmful to the body. Following side effects are visible in the body as a result of the disease.
- Tooth decay is one of the commonest consequences since the acids released from the stomach during frequent vomiting cause damage to enamel and as result, staining happens.
- Due to high intake of laxatives, chronic irregular bowel movements and subsequently constipation may also result.
- Frequent purging causes dehydration that may also lead to dry scaly skin, weak muscles and extreme fatigue. Vomiting can cause an imbalance in the level of electrolytes. Throwing up usually becomes a violent episode.
- Low blood pressure levels, low HB levels, anemia, weakness, generalized body wasting, tiredness and irregular heartbeats are some of the frequently occurring results.
- Menstrual cycle is adversely affected. There is susceptibility of developing hormonal imbalance as well.
- Bulimic patients may usually find it difficult to conceive.
- If pregnant ladies are suffering from this disorder, material and fetal health is usually at high risk and in danger. Premature birth, troubled labor, miscarriage, birth defects, high risk of C-section, gestational diabetes, stillbirth and abortion may also result.
- Recurrent vomiting leads to rupture of the intestine and hence, ulcers may result.
- Difficulty in breathing and chest congestion can be seen too.
- Sore throat and swollen throat is commonly seen.
- Repetitive purging is demanding and can cause the energy levels to drop down.
Bulimia is a serious disorder and needs medical consultation.