Signs and symptoms
Help, it sounds like me!
Treatment for anorexia
Recovery and getting help
Self-induced vomiting (bulimia nervosa)
Some anorectics also purge any food which they eat.
This is an extremely dangerous combination, particularly
if the sufferer is vomiting regularly. A common misconception
is that bulimia is simply bingeing and purging. This
is untrue and SOMEONE DOES NOT HAVE TO BINGE IN ORDER
TO HAVE BULIMIA OR BULIMAREXIA. Tell
me more about bulimia in general.
Exercise can be used as both a method of compensating
for food eaten (so it becomes a form of bulimia) and
as simply a way of losing weight. In the first instance,
the sufferer is exercising in order to counteract any
calories which have been consumed. However, many anorectics
exercise purely to lose weight, regardless of whether
or not they have eaten. Tell
me more about over-exercise (methods, reasons and dangers).
Laxative, diuretic and ipecac abuse
Abuse of laxatives, diuretics and ipecac syrup is sometimes
found in sufferers of both anorexia and bulimia. It
is a common misconception that taking laxatives can
help you to lose weight. In reality, laxatives work
near the lower end of the bowel and do not significantly
change the way that food (and calories) is absorbed
by the body. Laxative abuse is painful, dangerous and
can also be addictive. THE ONLY WEIGHT YOU ARE LIKELY
TO LOSE BY TAKING LAXATIVES IS WATER WEIGHT, which can
easily lead to dehydration. Tell
me more about laxative abuse.
Diuretics are drugs used to lower to amount of salt
and water present in the body. They are most commonly
prescribed to patients with high blood pressure, edema
(water retention) or congestive heart failure. They
are NOT intended to be used as a means of losing weight
and can have side-effects including headaches, dizziness,
muscle cramps, impotence, and, in rare cases, may cause
an irregular heartbeat. Tell
me more about diuretic abuse.
Ipecac is a drug most commonly found as a syrup, but
it can also be found in tablet form too. The syrup is
intended to be used in emergencies and should only be
administered if someone has swallowed poison. Ipecac
causes severe vomiting but can have many side-effects,
both short-term and long-term. These side-effects include
dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, respiratory difficulties,
fast or irregular heartbeat, seizures and pneumonia.
If the ipecac is not vomited or an individual overdoses,
it can cause serious heart problems and even death.
Even in emergencies where someone has been poisoned,
bottles labelled "Ipecac Fluidextract" or
"Ipecac Tincture" should NOT be used as the
dosage will be too strong and can lead to death.†
Tell me more about ipecac
Many eating disordered people self-harm for a number
of possible reasons. Firstly, it can be used as a method
of punishment if they have eaten too much or broken
a rule they have set themselves. Secondly, self-harm
can be used as a way of releasing built-up feelings
of hurt, anger and frustration. Finally, many self-harmers
say they injure themselves so they can feel something,
even if it is pain, because they just feel numb inside.
Tell me more
about self-harm (methods, reasons and dangers).
There are links to other related issues, including depression,
on the right-hand side of this page.
Go on to help, it sounds
Source: †Medline Plus Health
Information, a service of the National Library of Medicine