Question for Betty.

I have been fighting with bulimia for the past year, off and on.  How bad are the effects on a persons body if they keep doing this, and should I seek counseling if I know this isn't good for me, but, I can't seem to make myself stop?

Betty's Answer.

Yes, definitely, you should seek counseling!  Congratulations on identifying that you have an eating disorder. This is an important first step.  The next step is to seek counseling.

Bulimia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bing eating and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo the effects of binge eating.

Bulimia Nervosa has three primary symptoms:

  • Regular intake of excessive food accompanied by a sense of loss of control over eating behavior.
  • Regular use of behaviors such as vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, fasting, or compulsive exercise.
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape.

Health consequences of Bulimia Nervosa include:

  • Heart problems caused by electrolyte imbalances which can lead to irregular heart rate, heart failure and death.
  • Esophagus damage from frequent vomiting.
  • Tooth decay and staining from stomach acid during vomiting.
  • Chronic constipation with laxative abuse.

Other problems associated with binge eating are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, gallbladder disease, and gastric rupture.

There are serious consequences with this eating disorder and I encourage you to get help at this time.  The longer an eating disorder continues, the more established it becomes. If you are an eligible UAA student you can make an appointment with the Student Health and Counseling Center for evaluation, at 907-786-4040.

For further online information: