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Should I See a Doctor Regarding my Bulimia?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 6 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Eating Disorder Bulimia Vomit Vomiting

Q.

I have suffered from bulimia, on and off for years. In recent weeks I have been making myself vomit more. Not every day, but on a bad day after every meal. Tonight I noticed a little bit of blood in my vomit, should I see a doctor about the possibility of a rupture? It was only a small amount of blood but has me worried.

(Miss P B, 31 December 2008)

A.

You need to see a doctor right away.

While it does not sound as though you need to make a visit to A&E (unless you begin to have serious pain or continue to vomit blood), you should call your GP and advise him or her that you have a serious situation and would appreciate an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, try to take your mind off of your bulimia and making yourself sick. Go and sit in a cinema, walk in the park, read a book in a library - do anything calming that includes an environment which is not conducive to vomiting. The less access, and desire, that you have to vomit before seeing your GP the better off you will be.

However, from what you have said about a "small amount of blood" it does not seem as though you need to panic about your health prior to your GP appointment. While it could be that you have suffered an internal tear due to vomiting, it may also be that the blood is coming from a mouth or gum sore that has developed due to the acidity of the bile that you vomit. Unfortunately, repeated vomiting while suffering from bulimia can also contribute to many other health concerns which are not as obvious as blood in your vomit. The erosion of enamel on your teeth, an electrolyte imbalance, lack of calcium leading to osteoporosis, even hearth rhythm abnormalities and more are all be associated with bulimia. This means that your should ask your GP for a full medical check-up and discuss your bulimic habits with him or her so that you can both set a course towards better physical and mental health.

It is likely that once your physical health is no longer in jeopardy your GP will want you to get some help for your mental health. This is because eating disorders such as bulimia are actually diagnosed as mental health conditions rather than physical health diseases. Attending private, group and/or family counselling to help work through bulimia is a common form of treatment. If this is suggested to you, please do not hesitate to engage in one or more forms of counselling to help yourself back towards a healthy body and lifestyle.

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