TeethFrom the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders.  Good for the exam, good for practice.   What's the dx that goes with these symptoms?  (Easier for the holiday weekend.) Self-induced vomiting...may have serious medical consequences, including:

  • Erosion of tooth enamel, particularly on the molars and maxillary incisors. Loss of tooth enamel is irreversible.
  • Enlargement of the salivary glands.
  • Scars and calloused areas on the knuckles from contact with the teeth.
  • Irritation of the throat and esophagus from contact with stomach acid.
  • Tearing of mucous membranes in the upper gastrointenstinal tract or perforation of the esophagus and stomach wall. Perforation of part of the digestive tract is a rare complication of bulimia but is potentially fatal.
  • Electrolyte imbalances. The loss of fluids from repeated vomiting and laxative abuse can deplete the body's stores of hydrogen chloride, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Hypokalemia (abnormally low levels of potassium in the blood) is a potential medical emergency that can lead to muscle cramps,seizures, and heart arrhythmias.

January 15, 2010
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