Eating Disorders - Bulimia Nervosa Effects

In this second article on Bulimia Nervosa we're going to go over the effects the disease can have on the body and how to treat it.
Bulimia nervosa can have devastating effects on a person's body if the disease goes unchecked for a long period of time.
The most serious of these is electrolyte imbalances which are caused by the constant bingeing and purging. These imbalances can lead to irregular heartbeat. If the problem goes on long enough this can lead to heart failure and death. The actual cause of the electrolyte imbalance is because of loss of potassium and sodium from the body and dehydration because of the constant purging.
Another serious problem is caused by the frequent vomiting. That problem is inflammation of the esophagus, which at best can cause difficulty in breathing and at worst possible rupture.
Another problem people with Bulimia Nervosa suffer from, while maybe not as serious as the ones mentioned already, is tooth decay from the frequent vomiting. This decay can eventually lead to tooth loss. While that may not sound all that terrible, it has been shown in studies that people who have their own teeth live longer than people who wear dentures. So this is something to be concerned about.
Because of the constant laxative use a person suffering from this disease will eventually have infrequent and irregular bowel movements and most likely end up suffering from chronic constipation. This can cause more serious problems down the road if this condition persists for any length of time.
And finally there is the possibility of gastric rupture because of the binge eating. This particular problem is very rare, even in the worst cases of Bulimia Nervosa, but nevertheless the possibility still exists, especially if the disease goes untreated for any length of time.
And now, some facts and statistics about the disease itself.
Bulimia Nervosa affects between 1 and 2% of all teenage or young women. The reason for this is mostly psychological because girls at this age are very self conscious about their looks and when they develop this irrational fear that they are too heavy, resulting in a poor social life and low esteem, they are likely to fall pray to this disease because of those fears.
About 80% of all patients suffering from this disease are female. Again, this all goes back to society, especially TV commercials, convincing young women that they have to be skinny as rails and look like fashion models if they are going to be accepted.
The truth is, the majority of people who suffer from this disease will appear to be of average body weight and will not at all appear to be fat.
Oddly, many people with Bulimia Nervosa do recognize that they have a problem. They know that the habits they have picked up of bingeing and purging are not normal. Yet they are unable to stop themselves, much like a person who knows smoking is harmful but can't quit.
Psychiatrists have determined that the onset of the disease is usually associated with depression, which is usually brought on by the person feeling inadequate as far as his or her appearance.
In our last article on this subject we'll go over how a person with Bulimia Nervosa is treated.

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