Eating disorders affect digestion health in a number of ways. A deficiency in digestive enzymes will lead to the bodies inability to properly digest food and absorb nutrients. This can lead to malabsorption problems, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances. Diseases that may be triggered by a history of an eating disorder include: Celiac Disease (gluten sensitivity), and Crohn’s Disease
The most common problem with digestion health from eating disorders is gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach lining loses some or all of its ability to absorb nutrients from food. Gastroparesis often follows sudden and significant weight loss. Its main symptoms are bloating, nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting. Gastroparesis can also interfere with eating disorder victims’ recovery by making them feel pain or discomfort as they begin to eat normally and put on weight.
Digestion health problems can, on occasion, become life threatening. The stomach may become so distended that it perforates (tears) from excessive binging. Retching can cause tears in the esophagus, gastrointestinal bleeding, and ulcers. Anorexia can cause constipation and bloating. Purging may cause irritation of the walls of your esophagus and rectum. Repeated purging may also cause constipation.