As with anorexia nervosa, there are many medical complications associated with bulimia nervosa. In bulimia nervosa, these complications are a direct result of both the mode and the frequency of purging behaviours. For the purposes of this article, we will review in detail the many complications of the two major modes of purging, namely, self-induced vomiting and laxative abuse; these two account for more than 90% of purging behaviours in bulimia nervosa. Some of these complications are potentially extremely dangerous and need to be well understood to effectively treat patients with bulimia nervosa. Other methods of purging, such as diuretic abuse, are much less frequently utilized and will only be mentioned briefly. In a subsequent article, the treatments of these medical complications will be presented.
Keywords: Bulimia nervosa; Complications; Medical; Self-induced vomiting.