ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Side Effects of Bulimia Nervosa - Hair Loss, Muscles and Bones

Updated on September 22, 2011
Its not easy to see the impact the constant binging and purging has upon the body at first.
Its not easy to see the impact the constant binging and purging has upon the body at first.

Most bulimic behavior stems from a poor body image and an obsession with food and its impact on the body. The very body that is so central to a bulimic’s consciousness is what shows signs of bulimia first. The skin, hair, muscles and bones deteriorating are all side effects of bulimia caused by nutritional imbalances in the diet.

It’s not easy to see the impact the constant binging and purging has upon the body at first. I can confirm first hand that bulimia does eventually ruin your teeth, robs your skin of its youthful glow, weakens your hair and destroys muscle tone.  As a person who wants to share her bulimia recovery story and the effects of bulimia on her life, I want to urge you to understand what bulimia is doing to your body, if nothing else.

Common Physical Effects of Bulimia

Since bulimics overeat and then purge by vomiting, abusing laxatives and over exercise, the digestion system is constantly disrupted. The body doesn’t get the nutrients that it needs to function properly. Anemia, malnourishment, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration are all common fallouts of bulimia.

Impacts on the Muscles – Chemical imbalances in the body mean that the muscles are not getting the energy that they require. The nerves may not convey the impulses from the brain to the muscles properly and the muscles weaken. They lose their tone and they loosen, they may even go into spasm and cramp. You may feel lethargic, may lack energy and even feel some amount of mental confusion.

Impacts on the Teeth – Most bulimics experience some amount of dental deterioration due to the daily vomiting because the stomach acids attack the tooth enamel. Bad breath is also a side effect, although temporary.  Severe dental deterioration can be one of the long lasting effects of bulimia. The family dentist is often the first to identify bulimia because of rapid tooth deterioration.

Impacts on the Hair and Skin - Your skin loses a lot of its healthy glow and vitality, becoming dry, dull and sallow with bulimia.  Hair loss is also common among bulimics because the body doesn’t get the amount of nutrients it needs.  Skin tone and hair growth may be secondary considerations for the body as it senses nutritional scarcity and tries to conserve its resources and use them for more vital body functions.

Impacts on the Skeletal System – Since all the body systems and organs are connected, bulimia will eventually affect the bones, too.  There could be bone loss that could result in the bones becoming porous (the condition called osteoporosis).  This can happen because nutrients are either purged before being digested.  Osteoporosis is more common with anorexia, but not uncommon to bulimics and yet another long-term impact bulimia can have upon the body.  Bulimics won’t know they have osteoporosis until years later and many women in recovery have to take supplements for the rest of their life because their bones have become so brittle and are prone to fractures.

These are but a few of the physical side effects of bulimia.  There are many others, not to mention the effects this addiction has upon the mental and emotional state of the person with bulimia.  Many, if not all, of these conditions can be overcome if bulimia is stopped soon enough.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)