Purging Disorder: Symptoms, Treatment, Side Effects & More

Purging disorder is an eating disorder in which people engage in “purging” behavior in an attempt to lose weight or change their body shape. Purging can refer to a variety of things, such as:

  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Usage of laxatives or medicines without a prescription
  • Excessive exercise
  • Fasting

Purging disorder is a confirmed eating disorder that isn’t as well-known as other eating disorders. An “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder” is what it’s called.

It’s important to remember that eating disorders are among the most dangerous mental disorders. They can be dangerous to one’s bodily and mental health.

Remember that you are not alone if you are suffering from an eating disorder, and that assistance is always accessible.

Purging disorder vs. Bulimia

Bulimia is a significant eating disorder that usually exhibits itself as a cycle of binge eating followed by purging.

While both bulimia and purging disorder involves purging habits, the key distinction between the two is that bulimia is accompanied by a compulsion to binge eat.

Purging disorder is characterized by purging activities that are not in reaction to a binge-eating event.

Purging disorder symptoms

Purging disorder is a recognized eating disorder with many of the same symptoms as other eating disorders. Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Purging habits to reduce weight on a regular basis, such as:
    • Self-induced vomiting
    • Misuse of a laxative or diuretic
    • Misuse of enemas
    • Fasting
    • Excessive exercise
  • Substantial hardship or disturbance in social, professional or personal life
  • Obsession with losing weight or fear of gaining weight
  • Difficulties with self-esteem body shape or weight have a big impact

An eating problem may affect anyone of any shape or size. This is why it’s critical to detect the signs and symptoms early on before your health is jeopardized.

You may take an online self-assessment if you suspect you or a loved one may have an eating problem to see if you have any habits that could lead to an eating disorder.

However, it’s crucial to remember that these tests do not constitute a diagnosis. Consult your doctor if you believe you have an eating disorder.

Who is affected by this?

Purging disorder is a type of eating disorder that can affect anyone, despite the following factors:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexual preference

The stereotype that eating disorders primarily affect adolescent females is both false and harmful. This perception can prevent people from getting therapy.

The findings of the research

Certain variables may play a role in why some persons have a greater incidence of eating disorders than others.

Potential risk factors include sexual and physical abuse, as well as participation in beauty or weight-focused sports.

While studies show that eating disorders are more frequent in late childhood and adolescents, eating disorders can strike at any point in life.

Eating disorders can affect men as well. According to a recent study, at least 25% of patients with eating problems are men. Furthermore, eating disorders such as purging disorder are rising at a higher pace in men than in women.

People who suffer from an eating problem are more prone to suffer from another mood disorder as well. According to one research, up to 89 percent of people with eating problems also suffer from mental disorders, such as:

Eating disorders are not a choice; they are a serious mental health issue. Getting help is not anything to be ashamed about.

Purging disorder treatments

Purging disorder treatment varies from person to person. Some people may benefit from intensive treatment and recovery programs, while others may choose outpatient therapy.

When medical monitoring or daily evaluations are required, inpatient therapy is more usual. Psychotherapy and dietary counseling may be used in outpatient treatment.

Purging condition is not treated with medications. Rather, they may be given to treat coexisting mental disorders that are adding to the stress or making recovery more difficult. Discuss your drug choices with your doctor.

Side effects

Purging disorder can have a number of negative health consequences, including:

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Tooth decay
  • Throat swelling
  • Swelling on the face
  • Mood swings
  • Cardiac issues such as abnormal heartbeat and others
  • Scarred hands
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Kidney failure
  • Constipation or digestive problems
  • Dehydration
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Chemical or electrolyte imbalances

Self-induced vomiting can potentially cause long-term harm to other parts of your body, including:

  • Teeth
  • Esophagus
  • Digestive system
  • Cardiovascular system

How to find help

If you or someone you know suffers from purging disorder, you can take the following steps:

  • For resources, treatment choices and support, call the National Eating Disorders Association hotline.
  • For anyone who does not have exposure to inpatient treatment or counseling, there are free or low-cost support options available.

It’s important to remember that eating disorders are significant mental health issues, not a matter of willpower. Don’t be embarrassed to seek therapy or extra assistance and remember that you’re not alone.

Recovery

It is possible to recover from an eating disorder, but it takes time. Throughout your recuperation, be patient with yourself. Healing is a lifelong process that is unique to each individual.

To boost your recovery, consider continuing counseling, journaling or joining a support group. Relapses are inevitable, but they do not make you a failure. There is always someone who can assist you in getting back on track.

The bottom line

Purging disorder is a significant mental health illness that is characterized by purging in cycles in an attempt to control weight or body shape. Purging can take many various forms, all of which can result in significant nutritional and metabolic imbalances, as well as long-term health consequences.

It’s critical to get treatment for purging disorder as soon as possible, whether it’s through a support group or more extensive therapy.

While recovery from an eating problem is a long-term journey, living a happy and healthy life is entirely achievable. The objective is to re-establish a healthy relationship between you and your body. Remember that asking for help is the first step in breaking the purging cycle.

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