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Clinical features

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Possible clinical features include:

  • concerns about shape and weight
  • intractable urge to overeat
  • binges occur in isolation
  • binge eating first induces a feeling of relief and then one of disgust; the patient may then induce vomiting
  • complications of repeated vomiting:
    • potassium depletion - causing cardiac arrhythmias, renal impairment, muscular paralysis
    • erosion of dental enamel
    • callouses over knuckles - from scraping against incisors when inducing vomiting
    • swollen salivary glands - particularly, the parotids
  • weight usually within the normal range

General psychopathology:

  • depressed mood - more marked than in anorexia nervosa
  • impaired concentration
  • social withdrawal - less marked than in anorexia nervosa
  • self-harm tendencies are common, usually by scratching or cutting (1)

Patients may complain of fatigue, lethargy, a bloated feeling, constipation, sore throat, and abdominal pain. Irregular menstruation may be seen


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