Binging and/or Purging and Bulimia Nervosa
- Water retention, swelling, and abdominal bloating
- Loss of muscle mass from excessive vomiting.
- Increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse.
- Electrolyte abnormalities, such as low blood potassium,
sodium and chloride (see below).
- Irregular menstrual periods, infertility, increased rates of
miscarriage and other fetal complications.
- Swelling: Swollen, enlarged salivary glands in the neck and jaw
area ("chipmunk cheeks") and stones in the salivary ducts due to
stomach acids that go into the salivary glands in the mouth.
- Teeth: Decalcification of teeth, enamel loss, staining, severe
tooth decay and gum disease as a result of repeated exposure to stomach acid.
- Throat and Swallowing: Acid reflux disorder and chronically
inflamed and sore throat; Swallowing problems and esophagus damage.
- Ulcers: Peptic ulcers and pancreatitis.
- Tearing: Irritation and tears in the lining of the throat,
esophagus, and stomach.
- Ruptures: Possible gastric rupture during periods of bingeing.
Inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus from frequent vomiting.
- Laxative Abuse: An inability to have normal bowel movements
(cathartic colon), and dependence on stimulant laxatives can occur, due to
chronic use of stimulant laxatives (> 3 times per week for at least 1 year).
- Electrolytes: Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration due to
vomiting and abuse of laxatives and diuretics flush sodium chloride and
potassium from the body, which can lead to irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), heart
failure and death.
- Toxicity: Abuse of medications to help induce vomiting, such as ipecac, which can result in toxicity, heart failure, and death.