Eating Disorders, Gender Identity and Transitioning, LGBTQ Wellness, and Adolescents.

M. Brett Debney, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Risks of Binging, Purging, and Bulimia

Binging and/or Purging and Bulimia Nervosa

General Effects

  • 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.

Gastrointestinal Consequences

  • 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).

Deadly Consequences

  • 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.

M. Brett Debney, MS, EdS, LCMHC, CCMHC

Phone: 336-686-3555


Hours of Operation

Mon-Thur: 10a - 7pm

Fri: 10a - 4p

Sat & Sun: Closed


3707 West Market Street, Suite D

Greensboro, NC 27403