What are the Long-term Effects of Bulimia?
Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that not only has significant short-term repercussions, but can also have severe long-term effects on both physical and mental health. Bulimia’s long-term effects should not be overlooked.
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder which can cause a number of very serious psychological and physical issues. Sufferers of bulimia eat large amounts of food in a short time and then attempt to purge the food from their body through self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives or diuretics. They may also restrict calories through fasting or commit to excessive exercise to make up for the periods of binging.
Are you concerned that you or someone you love may be suffering from bulimia? Have a confidential conversation with a counselor right now. Call (888) 837-6577.
Bulimia’s Long-Term Effects
Many of bulimia’s short-term effects dissipate once a person recovers from bulimia and receives proper medical care. Health complications in the long-term due to the period of poor nutrition need to be taken very seriously. The severity of these effects depend on the intensity of the disorder and how long it persisted. Here are a few of those concerns:
- Diabetes – People with bulimia tend to binge on foods that are high in sugar and fat and low in protein. Even though they purge the food, some will remain in the body, which can cause high blood sugar levels and sometimes the development of diabetes mellitus type 2.
- Brittle Bones – Calcium deficiency during adolescence or young adulthood can cause bone health problems later in life. Women who experience bulimia may have lower than average bone density, particularly if they experienced amenorrhea and higher calcium deficiency during the disorder. Women who have both bulimia and anorexia are at a particularly increased risk for osteopenia. Improved nutrition after bulimia can improve bone health, but women are still at increased risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis later in life.
- Reproductive Difficulties – Women with bulimia are at risk for infrequent menstrual periods, known as oligomenorrhea, due to poor nutrition. This can affect fertility. It may take some time, but after recovering from bulimia, women will begin to see their menstrual cycle return to normal and they can conceive. However, during pregnancy women with a history of bulimia are at risk for relapse as they begin to focus on their weight.
- Other long-term concerns of bulimia can include dental problems, high cholesterol, and damage to the esophagus.
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.