Electrolyte Issues From Bulimia – Knowing the Warning Signs

Bulimics often suffer from electrolyte imbalances. About half of all bulimia patients face potassium and sodium imbalances. They also often find themselves dealing with metabolic alkalosis, hypochloremia, and hypokalemia. Fortunately, there are tests that can track these issues, so your doctor can be informed and in a position to assist.

The disease revolves around purging, or self induced vomiting. When this activity becomes a habit, the body starts to react in certain ways. Saliva production lowers, and the stomach acids so frequently coming into contact with glands and structures in the throat and mouth can become swollen in telltale signs.

A habit of purging can lead to serious medical problems. Not only dehydration, as the body doesn’t have a chance to absorb the liquid it needs to properly function, but other issues as well. While regular vomiting in and of itself can cause damage and be bad for the body, the method the patient uses to induce vomiting can carry its own problems as well. For example, ipecac syrup can sometimes lead to heart damage, which would bring cardiac problems.

Not all bulimics purge orally. While less common, abusing laxatives to speed the expelling of the unwanted food is a real problem as well. However the food is artificially encouraged to depart, it is a serious condition.

Key Points:

  • 1Bulimia, or repeated purging, can cause serious health issues including electrolyte imbalances and heart problems.
  • 2Regular vomiting can lead to damage in the throat and mouth due to regular exposure to stomach acid.
  • 3Bulimia doesn’t just manifest as vomiting; it also includes abuse of laxatives to encourage expelling of food too quickly.

With dehydration, emesis can result which affects the heart. Sinus tachycardia, hypotension, and orthostasis can put the heart and individual at risk of heart failure.

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