Today we are beginning a series on purging. Purging is characterized by induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, or over-exercising, which are used to control weight. The pattern of purging can have very detrimental effects on an individual’s health.
Medical risks of purging include:
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia)
- Weakened heart muscle, leading to possible heart failure in severe cases
- Possible kidney infection or damage
- Intestinal problems, such as diarrhea and constipation
- Stomach ulcers
- Sores in the mouth
- Damage to the esophagus (if vomiting is one of the purging methods used)
- Broken blood vessels in the eyes (due to vomiting)
- Overall muscle weakness, lethargy, and fatigue
- More Info: http://www.mirror-mirror.org/purging-disorder.htm
If you or a loved one is struggling with purging it is important to do the following after purging to prevent further health complications:
- Do not brush your teeth after vomiting; instead wipe your mouth with a towel. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
- Stay hydrated! Purging can easily dehydrate and increase risk of electrolyte imbalance.
Signs that someone may be struggling with an eating disorder can include:
- Frequently leaving to use the restroom after eating
- Regular use of laxatives
- Swollen cheeks or parotid glands
- Obsession with weight-loss and exercising
For any questions or concerns you may have about purging disorders, talk to a health professional that you trust.