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Bulimia Side Effects: The Consequences of Binging and Purges

The abuse that the body undergoes due to this eating disorder can be terrible. Lots of people make jokes about bulimia. It’s really not something to joke about. Bulimia can be deadly if not treated quickly enough.

side effects of bulimia

At first, the side effects are less obvious:

The use of laxatives causes the bulimic person to have diarrhea. They will have some stomach aches. It’s not obvious why this happens to everyone.


Vomiting causes halitosis. They will have bad breath or always have mint breath due to the constant use of breath fresheners.

Weight loss – At first, there will be some weight loss. It is not as extreme as with anorexia nervosa and could be explained.

Dizziness and weakness – This is caused by improper nutrition.

As time goes by, the side effects get worse:

Constant stomach pains and diarrhea.

Tooth enamel begins to wear away due to stomach acids and nutritional deficiencies.

Bones weaken due to lack of calcium causing osteoporosis.

Hair, skin, and nails become dry and unhealthy. They will begin to lose their hair. This is also due to nutritional deficiency.

Low red blood cell count is extremely low and causes anemia.

The immune system is weakened. This makes them susceptible to all sorts of diseases. Recovering from some illnesses may be impossible due to your compromised immune system.

The esophagus, vocal cords, and stomach are damaged. Even if the person with bulimia tries NOT to vomit, they may no longer be in control. They may have stomach ulcers. The esophagus eventually erodes.

irregular heart rhythm


Organ damage is caused by stress on the body and the hunger response.

The constant use of laxatives damages the intestines and produces constipation. This can cause system-wide toxicity.

If diuretics are used, the kidneys may suffer irreparable damage and they will have complications with blood pressure.

Menstruation ceases due to hormonal imbalances. A woman may not be able to conceive and, if she does, she is likely to have a miscarriage.

The psychological effects are depression, mood swings, low self-esteem, and anxiety. They may refuse to eat with family and friends.

The list is scary. This is not a disorder to be taken lightly. If you have strong suspicions about a loved one, don’t wait! Face them and take them to a doctor. There is not much that loved ones can do, but you must try. They have to do all the work, but they need your support.

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