Gastrointestinal difficulties: Gastroenterologic complications in eating disorders can include vomiting, abdominal pain, bowel irregularities/constipation, abdominal distension following meals and/or abnormal bowel sounds. Individuals with bulimia nervosa may have upper abdominal and/or chest pain/discomfort secondary to irritation of the esophagus, blood in vomitus, gastritis, esophagitis, gastroesophageal erosions, acid reflux, gastric tears, increased risk for pancreatitis. Individuals with anorexia nervosa may experience delayed gastric emptying and intestinal peristalsis, abdominal pain, bloating and constipation either during the starvation phase or during refeeding. Laxative related difficulties include: irregular bowel functioning, constipation, bloating, blood in stool. Chronic laxative abuse is associated with rebound edema, continued constipation after discontinued use and colonic dysmotility. Patients that combine vomiting, laxative and/or diuretic use are at increased risk of developing electrolyte disturbances.
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