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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010-02-18

Bulimia

I' ve always wondered how exactly bulimia works and what exactly are the side effects on your body? I heard that it bloats you and makes your cheeks swollen? How often does a person have to binge and purge before these side effects kick in?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Bulimia
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder where the patient induces vomiting or purging after meals to rid herself of 'forbidden' foods and to lose weight. The constant exposure of the mouth to highly acid stomach juices during daily vomiting can firstly erode the enamel of the teeth and then harm the lining of the mouth. The bloating can be due to the harsh laxatives these patients use which eventually destroys normal bowel function. Other side-effects include deficiency diseases, and electrolyte imbalances. How rapidly such symptoms occur depend on the frequency of binging and purging. If a patient induces vomiting 3 or more times every day and simultaneously takes harsh laxatives that cause constant diarrhoea, then the symptoms will occur within a few days. If you suffer from bulimia or know of someone who is affected, please consult a clinical psychologist (they are listed in the Yellow Pages under 'Psychologists' or you can ask your gp to refer you), to help you work out what underlying psychological problems are driving you to self-destruct and to learn most positive ways of dealing with these problems. You should also consult a clinical dietitian to assist you to get back to eating normally again. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. If you are in Gauteng then it may help to contact Tara Hospital as they have an Eating Disorder clinic (phone (011) 783-2010. In Cape Town and environs you can contact the Kenilworth Clinic (021) 797-1400 and in KwaZulu Natal there is Riverview Manor (033) 701-1911, or contact them on: www.riverviewmanor.co.za
If applicable, go for expert help ASAP.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010-02-19

Dear Bulimia
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder where the patient induces vomiting or purging after meals to rid herself of 'forbidden' foods and to lose weight. The constant exposure of the mouth to highly acid stomach juices during daily vomiting can firstly erode the enamel of the teeth and then harm the lining of the mouth. The bloating can be due to the harsh laxatives these patients use which eventually destroys normal bowel function. Other side-effects include deficiency diseases, and electrolyte imbalances. How rapidly such symptoms occur depend on the frequency of binging and purging. If a patient induces vomiting 3 or more times every day and simultaneously takes harsh laxatives that cause constant diarrhoea, then the symptoms will occur within a few days. If you suffer from bulimia or know of someone who is affected, please consult a clinical psychologist (they are listed in the Yellow Pages under 'Psychologists' or you can ask your gp to refer you), to help you work out what underlying psychological problems are driving you to self-destruct and to learn most positive ways of dealing with these problems. You should also consult a clinical dietitian to assist you to get back to eating normally again. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. If you are in Gauteng then it may help to contact Tara Hospital as they have an Eating Disorder clinic (phone (011) 783-2010. In Cape Town and environs you can contact the Kenilworth Clinic (021) 797-1400 and in KwaZulu Natal there is Riverview Manor (033) 701-1911, or contact them on: www.riverviewmanor.co.za
If applicable, go for expert help ASAP.
Best regards
DietDoc

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