Do anorexia and bulimia cause permanent damage?

I have been bulimic and anorexic for the past four years, but just recently I began taking laxatives. I am always sick and my throat is always sore. I’ve tried not using the laxatives, because when I do, I become very ill and cannot have a normal bowel movement. What damage have I done to myself? I need help, but I don’t know what to do.

It’s almost impossible for me to help you from these brief comments, but your problem is potentially very serious. Yes, you need help, and I mean that in a positive sense. There are many resources available to you: medical care, therapy, books, support groups and more.

Bulimia and anorexia are potentially life threatening, via cardiac disease, kidney disease and other dire health problems. From what you say, you seem to be experiencing moderate problems with your esophagus and colon. If you continue with anorexic and bulimic behaviors, these problems could progress and become even more serious.

It’s not too late to recover from these symptoms, but it is important to start now. You need to see a sensitive, knowledgeable physician and an understanding, knowledgeable therapist. You may even require more consistent supervision and support temporarily, through in-patient care or other vigilant means.

There are many books on the subject, but the following book offers a progressive and hopeful approach: The Secret Language of Eating Disorders: The Revolutionary New Approach to Curing Anorexia & Bulimia, by Peggy Claude-Pierre.

Remember: You have nothing to be ashamed of. Start making some phone calls and look for resources in your area. With your desire to get help, and your will and commitment, you can do it.

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