Do Bulimia Sufferers Die Early?
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder which can cause a number of very serious psychological and physical issues. First diagnosed in the 1980s, bulimia was thought to be part of anorexia. Bulimia differs from anorexia, however, in that it involves a binge-purge cycle. Sufferers of bulimia will eat large amounts of food in a short time and then, due to feelings of extreme guilt and shame, will attempt to purge the food from their body.
Unlike anorexics, most bulimics are aware that they have an eating disorder. They will often go unnoticed though because they tend to hide their disorder. Additionally, bulimics can be of normal weight, underweight, or overweight, making it even more difficult to notice the disorder.
Common symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:
- Recurrent episodes of binge eating, with a feeling of lack of control
- Recurrent episodes of inappropriate purging behaviors to prevent weight gain
- A self-esteem overly influenced by body shape and weight
- A fear of gaining weight, despite having a normal weight
If you or someone you love has an eating disorder, we can help. Have a confidential conversation with a counselor right now. Call (888) 837-6577.
Bulimia can absolutely be life-threatening.
Here is a breakdown of nine different conditions commonly associated with Bulimia which can be fatal:
1. Ketoacidosis: This is an extremely dangerous condition that can lead to sudden coma and death when high acid levels build up in your blood.
2. Seizures: Bulimia sufferers have a higher chance of suffering from seizures or fits which can cause brain damage and death.
3. Pancreatitis: This is a potentially life-threatening illness which involves digestive enzymes attacking your pancreas. It can be caused by the excessive use of laxatives or diet pills.
4. Electrolyte Imbalance: Dehydration, the loss of potassium and the loss of sodium can cause electrolyte imbalances. Abnormal electrolyte levels are common in bulimics and can cause sudden cardiac arrest.
5. Suicide and Depression: Bulimia is exhausting and depressing. Suicide is a real risk for those suffering with bulimia.
6. Cardiac Arrest: Cardiac arrest is when the heart simply stops beating. It is one of the most common causes of death from bulimia.
7. Gastric Rupture: A gastric rupture can occur when you eat huge amounts during a binge and it bursts your stomach. Although not very common, a gastric rupture is often fatal.
8. Hypo and Hyperglycemia: These can be caused when your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. This is usually the result of binging and purging/fasting. Hypo and hyperglycemia can cause many different life-threatening complications.
9. Barrett’s Esophagus: Bulimia can cause Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. This can lead to a condition called Barrett’s Esophagus. A small percentage of people who have Barrett’s Esophagus develop cancer.
If you or someone you love suffers with bulimia, there is hope. Treatment is available that can offer you the chance for complete recovery. We can help.
Bulimia is treatable. Most who receive treatment for bulimia recover and resume a healthy lifestyle. It is important for you to seek treatment as early as possible.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric specialists understand that effective treatment for eating disorders requires a multifaceted, faith-based approach, involving healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Our unique treatment programs specifically and deeply address all three spheres, offering each client his or her greatest chance at wholeness and transformative growth.