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Digestive Problems Associated With Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can impact every facet of a person’s life. Beyond the emotional and psychological consequences, the physiological effects can be disastrous. People with eating disorders frequently experience digestive problems.

Effects Of Eating Disorder

The effects of disordered eating might vary widely in terms of digestive issues. These consist of Heartburn, Acid regurgitation, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation etc. The effects of disordered eating may also lead to various gastrointestinal problems. Instances include the following:

Effects Of Eating Disorder

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) occurs when the muscles that connect the esophagus and stomach weaken. A burning feeling might result from stomach acid and partly digested food traveling back up through the esophagus. This may eventually result in esophageal holes. 

Barrett’s esophagus results from self-inflicted vomiting and is an early sign of esophageal cancer. Esophageal holes can develop as a result of stomach acid from vomiting.

Cathartic colon: When laxatives are misused, the colon may ultimately stop working. The bowels become unresponsive.

Rectal prolapse: The excretory system might get stressed out by persistent constipation. Rectal prolapse is a condition in which, due to ongoing stress, the rectum protrudes through the anus.

Sialadenosis is the word used in medicine to describe enlarged parotid glands brought on by self-inflicted vomiting. Someone’s cheeks may swell as a result of this.

In severe cases, some of these illnesses may need dialysis, colon surgery, or a colostomy bag.

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Eating Disorders That Cause Stomach Problems


Bulimics struggle with cycles of binge eating and coping mechanisms. Self-induced vomiting is one compensatory activity that significantly negatively influences the stomach.

GERD may result from self-induced vomiting, sometimes referred to as purging. As previously stated, GERD is a condition in which stomach acid and partially digested food travel back into the esophagus. GERD is one of the primary side effects of this disordered behavior; however, there are other effects that purging can have on the digestive system.

One’s stomach may suffer as a result of binge eating. Due to the quantity of food they eat, someone who binges may suffer from bloating and stomach pain. This may cause a person’s sense of fullness to change over time.


Extreme dietary restriction to prevent weight gain characterizes the eating disorder known as anorexia. The insufficient food supply has the power to postpone stomach emptying progressively. As a result, it could take longer for food to move from the stomach to the small intestine. Gas and vomiting could result from this.

Binge Eating

Binge eating may cause the stomach to grow too big. If the stomach is overcrowded, it may be impossible or tough for food to pass through and reach the digestive system. This might decrease blood flow to the stomach, which could harm or kill tissue. Another repercussion can be the stomach bursting.

Also Read:- 8 Simple And Healthy Salad Dressings That You Should Try At Home

Does Recovery From An Eating Disorder Impact The Digestive System?

The gastrointestinal tract can heal. Repairs are possible for even more severe problems, such as gastric ruptures and esophageal lesions. These kinds of diseases could call for surgery or other treatments.

Other symptoms, such as persistent bloating or GERD, might go away on their own throughout the healing process. This can occasionally be uncomfortable and cause someone to act disorderly in an effort to feel better.

It’s critical to understand that these symptoms are transient. Recovery will take longer if someone keeps interfering with the body’s normal functions. Having support is crucial during the healing process. An individual can navigate gastrointestinal symptoms with a registered dietitian, gastroenterologist, or primary care physician knowledgeable about eating disorders.

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