Bulimia Can Have Serious Health Consequences
This eating disorder causes more than just unhealthy weight loss. Every system in your body is dependent on nutrition and healthy eating habits to function properly. When you disrupt your natural metabolism through binging and purging, your body can be seriously affected.
Bulimia can also cause:
- low blood pressure and irregular heart rate
- dry skin
- esophageal ruptures from excessive vomiting
- gastrointestinal problems
Other Specified Feeding Or Eating Disorders
OSFED is a category that was developed for people who don’t meet the strict diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa but still have a significant eating disorder, NEDA explains.;Some of these disorders include:
People with atypical anorexia restrict their food intake and may have lost a lot of weight, but not to the point where they are at a minimally normal weight . As Vazzana explains it, maybe they started off as overweight or obese but are not considered underweight from a medical standpoint, even after losing 20, 30, or 40 pounds; still, they have all the other symptoms of anorexia nervosa.
“A lot of times people think that’s not necessarily problematic,” Vazzana observes. “But we actually know it’s still associated with a really high rate of distress, with high levels of impairment with how to function in daily life,” she says. “They’re still malnourished based on where they might have normally been, only they’re not underweight. It’s associated with high rates of suicidality, even, and feelings of guilt and shame.”
Night eating syndrome
Night eating syndrome can contribute to weight management difficulties, Goodpaster says. The food is eaten before bed, and it is hard for the body to burn off the food in your sleep, so, overall, the risks of night eating syndrome are similar to the risks of obesity.
Can An Eating Disorder Affect Your Fertility
Women who have an eating disorder may have a hard time getting pregnant. Learn how eating disorders interfere with fertility.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating that leads to obesity, can all affect your ability to get pregnant and if you do get pregnant, an eating disorder can make your pregnancy higher-risk.
About 7 million American women have an eating disorder, and many of these women are in their peak childbearing years. Eating disorders, like being anorexic and experiencing severe weight loss, can cause you to stop having regular periods. The absence of your period is medically known as amenorrhea.
“Most often women with anorexia or those who participate in compulsive exercise may suppress their periods. Often in this situation a woman may notice that her menses are lighter or further apart or she may stop menstruating altogether,” says Pamela Berens, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
Eating Disorders and Fertility
“In this situation there are changes to the hormonal levels that occur and suppress both ovulation and menstruation. Women who experience amenorrhea may also have osteoporosis and bone loss,” says Dr. Berens.
Eating Disorders and Pregnancy
The risks to a pregnant woman with an eating disorder include:
Risks to the baby include:
- Premature birth
- Feeding problems
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Individual Variability Is A Thing
Yes, you can be getting your period even if you’re undernourished1. Bethany* age 28, with a long history of severe anorexia nervosa and no period in six;years, assumes she is infertile. She falls pregnant after having unprotected sex.2. Mian* age 31, is mother to a toddler. She has an undiagnosed restrictive eating disorder. Despite numerous signs of malnutrition she is still lactating. A year after her child is born her period returns. Mian;wishes to fall pregnant again as quickly as possible. Despite advice from her GP to first address her restrictive eating and;restore her;weight, Mian starts having unprotected sex in the hope she will fall pregnant.3. Camille* age 35, wants to start a family. She lost her menstrual cycle five years ago after battling through several cycles of restrictive eating and bulimia. Despite being fully recovered, nutritionally rehabilitated and at a healthy weight for the last two years, she still has no period.4. Faiza*;age 22, is a chronic restrictive dieter and has not had a period for the past year. She went to see a naturopath who prescribed herbs that made her period come back. She continues to eat very little, over-exercise and worry about her weight.
When Will I Get My Fucking Periods Back
A: I did a study of just over 300 women for No Period. Now What? about women who have reached a healthy weight and are still in HA. ;Generally, the median time to recovery is about six months. However that varies widely. ;Firstly, a healthy weight varies a lot by individual, with some women getting HA at a BMI of, say, 18, and others at a BMI of 23, 24, or even higher. Generally, however, I encourage women to strive for a minimum BMI of around 22.Its not six months from the time that you reach a healthy weight, but from the time you started working on recovery. In my sample there were a number of women who had taken some steps toward recovery prior to finding me and my message.
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How Are Eating Disorders Diagnosed
Doctors use guidelines for diagnosing different mental health conditions, such as eating disorders. When deciding on a diagnosis doctors will look at these guidelines. They will look at what symptoms you have had. And how long you have had these for. The main guidelines are:
- International Classification of Diseases , produced by the World Health Organisation , and
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual , produced by the American Psychiatric Association.
A health professional will assess you to work out if they think you have an eating disorder. As part of the assessment they will:
- ask about your feelings, thoughts and behaviours,
- see if there has been any rapid weight loss,
- check if your body mass index is too high or too low,
- ask you about any diets that you are on,
- listen to the concerns that your family or carers have about your eating behaviour, and
- think about different reasons for your symptoms.
Extreme Weight Loss And Eating Disorders
See your doctor if:
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Doing Too Much Exercise
The stress that intense physical activity places on your body can affect the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can also stop you ovulating.
You’ll be advised to reduce your level of activity if excessive exercise has caused your periods to stop.
If you’re a professional athlete, you;may benefit from seeing a doctor who specialises in sports medicine. They’ll be able to give you advice about how to maintain your;performance without disrupting your periods.
Things That Mess With Your Period
Wouldn’t it be great if you could circle a date on your calendar and have your period actually show up then? You’d plan beach trips around it and you’d never be caught without a tampon. Unfortunately, a little variation is typical: “The average cycle is 28 daysthat’s 28 days between the first day of one period and the first day of your next periodbut anywhere in between 24 and 31 days is considered normal,” says Veronica Lerner, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “Still, a highly irregular period is usually a sign that something else isn’t right in your body.” Take note of these 10 things that could be messing with your menstrual cycle, and see your doc if anything seems too far off.
Heard of marathon runners losing their periods? It’s not a myth: frequent rigorous exercise combined with low body fat puts stress on your body, and this stress tells your brain to stop producing reproductive hormones. “Since you can’t nourish a baby under extreme stress, your body temporarily shuts down the production of fertility hormones,” explains Dr. Lerner. One study found that half of exercising women experience subtle menstrual irregularity. A period that arrives a few days off schedule is nothing to worry about, but see your doctor if you haven’t had your period for longer than three months. “It’s a condition called amenorrhea, and it can compromise your bone density long-term,” says Dr. Lerner.
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How Is Bulimia Diagnosed
Your doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history. It may be difficult to talk to a doctor or nurse about secret eating, purging, or exercise behaviors. But doctors and nurses want to help you get better. Being honest about your eating behaviors with a doctor or nurse is a good way to ask for help.
Your doctor may do blood or urine tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. Your doctor may also do other tests to see whether you have any other health problems caused by bulimia. These tests may include kidney function tests or an electrocardiogram to see if or how repeated binging and purging has affected your health.
Eating Disorders And Hypothalamic Amenorrhea
Hypothalamic Amenorrhea is a commonly occurring medical condition in women of childbearing age with eating disorders. The body enters survival mode, periods stop, and women will not be able to reproduce. Learn more about what causes it, the consequences, and how it is treated.
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Can Eating Disorders Be Prevented
According to Burton Murray, yes, some of these disorders may be preventable. Adds NEDA: “Scientists believe that if they can reduce the risk factors for eating disorders, then they can reduce the chances that a person will go on to develop an eating disorder.”
Prevention can include reducing negative risk factors, like body dissatisfaction, or depression, or appearance-based self-esteem, or increasing protective factors, like giving appreciation for the body’s functionality.
A Major Concern For Anorexia Sufferers
Primary Amenorrhea is diagnosed when a female fails to start her menses by age 16. Secondary Amenorrhea occurs when a woman no longer menstruates after having menstruated in the past. Secondary amenorrhea becomes a major concern for an individual who is low weight and has not had a period in 3 to 6 months.
The hormonal imbalance that occurs when a woman is not menstruating can lead to many lasting consequences for a woman dealing with her eating disorder and therefore must be addressed in the course of her treatment.
Secondary amenorrhea is generally what is diagnosed in the anorexic patient. The loss of the period may be caused by:
- Extreme weight loss
- Intense exercise routines
- Increased levels of stress
We dont know which of the above actually leads to the loss of the period or if its the combination of factors that can lead to the medical diagnosis.
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An Eating Disorder May Be What Causes Irregular Periods
Last updated on By Jing
Irregular periods? PMS? Look into your diet to see if you have some type of eating disorder, because it could be the reason behind your menstrual disharmoines.
If your periods are irregular and you wonder why, you may want to examine your relationship with foods because theres an intimate connection between various eating disorders and reproductive health.
You Can Get Pregnant During Your Period
Itâs time to squash that age-old myth: Your period doesnât protect you from pregnancy. There are a couple of reasons why. First, some women may bleed when their ovaries release an egg each month, called ovulation, and mistake it for their period. Youâre at your peak fertility when you ovulate. So if you have sex during this time, it could actually make you more likely to get pregnant.
Second, you may ovulate before your period is over or within a few days after the bleeding stops. Since sperm can hang out in your body for up to 3 days, having sex during your period could lead to conception.
Use a condom or other form of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, no matter what time of the month it is.
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Q: How Ishypothalamic Amenorrhea Treated
A: The simple answer for someone whose HA stems from undereating / food restriction and exercise, is eat more of all foods, and exercise less .;We have to do the opposite of what society tells us eat fertility foods and cut out the high intensity if some exercise is good more is better right exercise. It. Is. Hard.
When Pregnancy Plays Into Eating Disorder Relapse
Some women find they are still able to get pregnant and, despite not being fully recovered, plough on to have a child anyway the consequences of which can be fatal for both mother and baby. Kate Daigle, a counsellor and eating disorder specialist, has researched this area for many years and found that women battling with bulimia are 50% more likely to miscarry than the general population. “Up to three-quarters of women who’ve recovered from eating disorders relapse within 18 months of giving birth putting their own lives at risk,” she adds.
“Up to three-quarters of women who’ve recovered from eating disorders relapse within 18 months of giving birth – putting their own lives at risk”
Its not hard to see why relapse can happen; seeing your body swell until it becomes unrecognisable and having to come to terms with uncontrollable changes to your eating habits and hunger levels cannot be an easy combination if you are only just untangling yourself from the clutches of an eating disorder. Particularly given the depressing statistic that less than half of anorexia patients are ever considered fully “cured”.
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Causes Of Binge Eating
The exact causes of binge eating disorder are not known, but you are more likely to have an eating disorder if:
- you or a member of your family has a history of eating disorders, depression, or alcohol or drug misuse
- you’ve been criticised for your eating habits, body shape or weight
- you’re too worried about being slim, particularly if you also feel pressure from society or your job, for example, ballet dancers, models or athletes
- you have anxiety, low self-esteem, an obsessive personality or are a perfectionist
- you’ve been sexually abused
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Avoidant/restrictive Food Intake Disorder
A lot of kids might go through picky eating phases, but those with ARFID are picky to the point where the limit on the amount or type of food they’re eating affects their growth. If it’s not treated, ARFID can continue into adulthood, Vazzana says. Adults with ARFID may have a hard time maintaining basic body function, which can cause them to lose weight. There’s also the social impact the disorder can have.
“For an adult, if persists, that can mean going on dates or going out to a work dinner can be very problematic because you’re not able to eat the types of food that are being served there. So it can cause a lot of impairment at those times,” Vazzana says. “That’s usually when people will present for treatment to try to work on that.”
Eating Disorders: Medical Consequences
Eating disorders are associated with adverse health consequences including the following:
- Dental problems
- Endocrine problems
- Kidney failure
Given these adverse health consequences, eating disorders have high mortality rates2. It is estimated that only 10% to 15% of women with eating disorders seek treatment, and an even smaller percentage of men seek treatment.
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There Is A Misconception About Athletes And The Heart That Could Be Deadly
Fueled by competitive expectations, it comes at no surprise that eating disorders in athletes are higher than the general population. Whether it be exercise bulimia or trying to preserve a perfect, restrictive diet under the guise of training, athletes diets can be confusing because from the outside perspective, the patient appears to simply be trying to maintain an advantage.
The true issue lies in the public misconception that an athletes heart is healthier than most due to extensive training, and therefore natural for their heart to beat at a low resting rate.
We often treat reluctant patients with bradycardia who are admitted to our facility because they classify themselves as an athlete, said Dr. Ovidio Bermudez, chief clinical officer and medical director of child and adolescent services at the Eating Recovery Center. The patient, as well as their family, will argue that a low heart rate is their baseline due to good physical conditioning. However, this is not entirely accurate. Especially if the athlete is underweight, a low resting heart rate is not a sign of good health, but of cardiac damage imposed by the eating disorder.
So how can doctors adequately distinguish between a healthy heart in an athlete versus an eating disorder heart complication?