WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

There are a number of physical complications that are associated with bulimia. Some of these are outlined below.

Dental problems

Persistent vomiting can cause your stomach acids to damage the enamel on your teeth, which may lead to tooth decay. Excessive vomiting can also cause bad breath and a sore throat.

Irregular periods

Your menstrual cycle can become unpredictable, or even stop altogether. You may also find it difficult to conceive (become pregnant) in the future.

Poor skin and hair

A lack of nutrients through persistent vomiting, or laxative use, can make your skin and hair unhealthy. Your skin and hair can become dry and your fingernails can become brittle.

Swollen glands

If you have bulimia, your saliva glands can become swollen from frequent vomiting. This makes your face appear rounder.

Chemical imbalance

Excessive vomiting and laxative use can cause body chemical imbalances. This can result in tiredness, weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney damage, convulsions, and tetany (muscle spasms).

Bowel problems

Excessive use of laxatives can also damage your bowel muscles. This could result in permanent constipation.

Heart problems

Long-term complications of bulimia can include an increased risk of heart problems, and damage to other internal organs.

view information about Bulimia on www.nhs.co.uk »

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here