Bulimia affects the whole body. But the most obvious effects it has is on the nervous system, mental state, gastro-intestinal, cardio system, kidney, skin, bones and the hormonal system.

The most common and the most dangerous is mineral depletion (Potassium, Sodium, Calcium etc). This has an negative effect on the heart, bones and skin of the sufferer.

As a result of the mineral depletion a person develops weakness of the heart, low pulse, low blood pressure, dehydration and dizziness. A sufferer can faint easily, get tired quickly, and feel lethargic during the day.

The most serious of all is electrolyte disturbance that can lead to cardiac arrest, when the heart of the sufferer stops beating as a result of extremely low levels of Potassium and other electrolytes.

The digestive system is also badly affected. What happens is the gastric acid from the vomiting cause erosions of esophagus and throat. This could cause the stomach to experience a delay in empting, making the person feel abnormally full even after eating a very small amount of food.

The bowel then becomes sluggish making a sufferer constipated. The other symptoms are blood in the vomit, abdominal cramps, bloating and sore throat.

The teeth of bulimics get eroded quickly and salivary glands become inflamed which makes their face look swollen.

Mental aspects of bulimia also becomes obvious virtually straight away in the early stages of the disorder. People appear to loose a sense of normal appetite. They have difficulty understanding their feelings whether they are full or hungry and can't control their eating behavior in most cases.

Bulimics also have high levels of anxiety and depression in some cases.

Because of binging –purging episodes sufferers withdraw into themselves and move away from their friends and other people.

Feelings of guilt often goes to the extreme in bulimics and they suffer enormously from it.

The other organs that will become affected as the disease progresses is the bones. Low bone density and osteoporosis at a relatively young age can be a serious problem for the sufferers.

People often complain about aches and pains in their bones and joints. The spine has to be checked regularly because weakening of the spine can cause severe back aches and other problems.

Skin complications can occur like a change in skin color. Also poor nourishment can cause circulation problems in the skin.

After years of suffering from bulimia women notice that their skin becomes dry and grey, signs of inflammation and irritation can appear from time to time and the radiance of youth disappears completely.

To conclude, bulimia nervosa has a lot of dangers. Some women will develop more and worse complications then others. But the best way to eliminate complications is to avoid them. Bulimia can be treated successfully especially with family support and understanding.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Irina Webster MD is the Director of Women Health Issues Program which covers different areas of Women Health. She is a recognised athority in the eating disorders area. She is an author of many books and a public speaker. learn more about eating disorders at