Characterized by undereating, fear of gaining weight, and obsessions with dieting and thin-ness.
Hormonal Changes: Some hormone levels drop. Menstruation becomes irregular or stops completely. In males, impotence may develop.
Premature Bone Loss: Susceptibility to stress fractures and osteoporosis.
Organ Damage: Possible kidney and heart failure.
Also: Abnormally low heart rate and blood pressure, hair loss, dry skin, cold/blue hands and feet, sensitivity to cold, insomnia, constipation.
Characterized by recurrent episodes of bingeing and purging, and feelings of loss of control and shame. Vomiting causes these medical problems:
Gastrointestinal Problems: Irritation of esophagus, stomach, and throat; enlarged salivary glands.
Damaged Teeth: Gastric acids erode enamel.
Lung Irritation: At risk for aspiration while vomiting; food particles may lodge in lungs.
Chronic Loss of Body Fluids: Depletes electrolytes resulting in muscle spasms, weakness, irregular heartbeat, kidney disease, and heart failure.
Characterized by recurrent episodes of bingeing without purging. Bingeing causes these medical problems:
Gastrointestinal Problems: Gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Weight Gain: Over time can lead to weight gain. Being overweight increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.
Last Updated: 10/2/08