Inspired living

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by binge eating high calorie foods and then inducing vomiting or using diuretics or laxatives to purge the body of the foods eaten. The binge eating and purging are usually secret, but they can result in some serious health consequences including anaemia, depletion of fluids, electrolyte imbalance, hypoglycaemia, infertility, loss of muscle mass, gum erosion and rupturing of the oesophagus. Psychological complications can involve anxiety, anger, depression, isolation, fear of being discovered and obsessive-compulsive behaviour.

Signs: swollen glands in the neck, erosion of tooth enamel, constant sore throat, bad breath, dizziness, excess facial and body hair and extreme weakness. If laxatives are used there may be damage to the bowel and rectal bleeding.

Who to consult: GP, herbalist, naturopath, psychologist.