Bulimia’s  side effects can be extremely harmful to a person’s health and well-being.  Often times, a person struggling with an eating disorder is less concerned with  the disorder’s side effects due to the condition’s overpowering nature. Bulimia  is not only a serious condition in and of itself, but its side effects can also  cause a series of medical complications that exacerbate the person’s life now  and in the future.

Physical and Psychological Effects

In addition to the psychological impact, bulimia’s side effects can cause  irreparable physical damage. Restrictive, compulsive, and weight controlling  behaviors like self-induced purging and inappropriate use of laxatives or  diuretics can cause a multitude of other health complications and medical  conditions. Such effects include:


  • Esophageal problems
  • Vocal chord damage
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hair loss
  • Digestive problems
  • Decreased body temperature
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Elimination problems
  • Dental Damage
  • Organ damage
  • Vitamin and mineral  deficiencies
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Dry skin
  • Decreased bone density
  • Menstrual dysfunction
  • Hormone irregularities
  • Insomnia
  • Low red blood cell levels
  • Weak muscles
  • Immune system damage


  • Out of control feelings
  • Mood changes
  • Avoidance of others
  • Constantly thinking about food
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Unable to eat with others
  • Poor body-image

Other bulimia side effects include difficulty conceiving a child, a larger  risk of miscarriage and premature birth after conception. Some theorize that  nature requires humans and animals to be healthy themselves in order to  continue to propagate a species that is capable of surviving—theory of natural  selection. Bulimia side effects damage a woman’s body which can physically  inhibit her from having healthy children in the future.

Laxative and Diuretic Use

It is estimated that one third of people struggling with bulimia use  laxatives, and roughly 10% take diuretics. Various effects include:

Laxative abuse

  • Chronic intestinal inflammation
  • Chronic constipation
  • Irregular bowel function
  • Systemic toxicity

Diuretic abuse

  • Kidney damage
  • Body fluid stagnation
  • Blood pressure complication



As you can see, bulimia has some serious side effects which is why it is so important to be aware of it!