5 Most Common and Harmful Effects of Bulimia

Living with bulimia puts your body at risk of serious side effects every single day. Many of the effects of bulimia are harmful to the body in more ways than one. Chronic reduction of nutrients and the consistent purging of food from ones body can have a lasting impact on the health of even someone who is very healthy to begin with. These are the most common effects of bulimia that are causing great harm to your body.


The desire to consistently purge leads to serious dehydration. Unfortunately, dehydration can cause serious problems including long term organ damage, organ failure or even death. Laxatives and vomiting can both cause dehydration as can taking diuretics or weight loss supplements in an effort to keep weight gain down.

Acid Reflux

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Bulimia’s effects on the body are very serious.

Consistently vomiting in an effort to prevent weight gain can have a permanent impact on your gastrointestinal system. The ability for your body to hold food down will be compromised and acid reflux is more likely when you have spent weeks or months purging. This acid reflux can cause ulcers that remain a problem long after your eating habits stabilize.

Ruptured Stomach

Overeating can cause your stomach to rupture as a result of putting too much food into it in a short period of time. The stomach can stretch but only so far—eventually it will snap and rupture. If you rupture your stomach as a result of overfilling it or from the induced vomiting that places undue strain on the stomach, fatal internal bleeding may occur.

Irregular Heartbeat

People who suffer from bulimia often have underlying health problems that cannot be seen but which are secretly creating serious danger for the individual. Irregular heartbeat, such as a heart murmur or a rapid heartbeat can cause serious long term consequences for the individual and may even cause heart attack, stroke or death.

Kidney Failure

Potassium is a necessary component for kidney function and it’s also necessary for proper heart function. Chronically low levels of potassium can cause serious side effects including kidney failure, heat attack or death. A lack of potassium is very common in people who suffer from bulimia and consistently purge food to avoid weight gain.


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