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Long Term Effects of Bulimia

Gönderen Stuff zaman: 02:19
With the explosion of access to media beginning with television and magazines, many teenage girls have succumbed to eating disorders in their quest for the perfect body. Bulimia is only one of these eating disorders, and it is characterized by cycles of binging and purging.
Why does this cycle come about? Typically, binging refers to eating an unusually large amount of food, and it can happen when a person has been starving herself or sticking to a very strict diet over a few days, and then suddenly loses control and eats more than the allowed amount. Usually, this amount is subjective and can actually change depending on the person’s mood. This is what makes binging a very serious precursor to purging: after the person binges, she feels so guilty and so bad about herself that she wants to get the food that she has just consumed out of her system. Purging is the forced elimination of food or calories by any means; the most common is by vomiting or by using laxatives. Different people use one method or another, while some will even combine methods. This cycle of binging and purging is known for causing serious complications, some of which may be severe or even life threatening, with the severity determined largely by the method used for purging.
The normal bodily functions of a person are disrupted when she succumbs to binge eating and then purging. The most common consequences are related to your digestive system, while even cardiovascular and dental health may be compromised. Bulimia also affects your body’s potassium levels, leading to possible abuse of drugs.
1. Cardiovascular effects
Bulimia may seem limited to the digestive tract, but in reality it isn’t. It has long-term serious effects on a person’s cardiovascular system. This includes rapid heart rates, irregular heartbeats, electrolyte level imbalance, chest pains, breathing problems, and in a worst-case scenario, cardiac arrest. It may also cause low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, and a lightheaded sensation.
2. Digestive problems
Among the most common digestive problems linked to bulimia are sores and swelling in the mouth and throat. A person suffering from bulimia may have ruptured linings in his stomach or esophagus. A dependence on laxatives may also develop into drug dependence, adversely affecting the person’s normal bowel functions. Bloating, peptic ulcers, pancreatitis, and stomach pain may also be caused by bulimia.
3. Dental effects
The purging does not only thin the linings of your esophagus and stomach, but it actually has far-reaching effects, all the way to the mouth. This is largely due to the acid coming up from your stomach, making its way up the throat and into your mouth. This acid can destroy tooth enamel, leading to a greater incidence of tooth cavities and decay. This results in teeth that are more sensitive to cold and hot foods, or may even become crumbly and fall out. If your teeth have been damaged by bulimia, it may require intensive work to get them back to the condition they used to be in prior to bulimic activity.
4. Other effects
The effects of bulimia are not limited to digestive, cardiovascular, and dental health. Other effects that bulimia causes a body includes mood swings, irregular menstruation, damage to the kidneys and liver, anemia, and possible hair loss. These are but the most common physical ailments linked to bulimia, and it is not an exaggeration to mention that emotional ailments are also widespread. Many bulimic women suffer from frequent bouts of depression, and some may even have suicidal tendencies.
This list, though not extensive, should give you an idea of the negative effects of bulimia down the road. At the moment, if you are a victim of the binging and purging cycle or know someone who is, it may seem impossible to get out of the cycle owing to the seemingly “good” results at keeping bodyweight in check. But the consequences far outweigh the benefits. As such it is crucial to get help as soon as possible so that treatment may begin. It may start with getting a positive self-image, and the process may be long and difficult, but it is always worth the effort to get one’s life back on track to good health and quality living.

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