All you Need to Know about Purging Disorder

What do you Mean by the Term ‘Purging Disorder?

Purging disorder is a term used for eating disorders and this complaint arises seldom or at instances when you overeat. Its features include periodic purging like self-prompted vomiting, diuretics and enemas that is executed to control the body mass or shape.

Patients purge even when they eat routine or normal amount of food in the absence of binge eating. In the year 2007, a study circulated in the issue of ‘Archives of General Psychiatry’ explained purging disorder as a variation of bulimia. However the two are discrete. Where purging disorder included no binge for patients with normal eating habits, bulimia involved binge followed by vomiting, fasting and exercising.

purging disorder

Physical and Emotional Impacts Involved in Purging Disorders

Physicians are correctly able to identify the patients affected by purging disorders. The condition can cause dryness, electrolyte disparities affecting your heart and kidneys as well as can damage teeth by the acid from the stomach while vomiting and mental problems. It also leads to stomach pains, diarrhea, swelling of ankles, tooth cavities, ulcers, bleeding or ripping in the esophagus and blood loss from the rectum.

There are instances when some behaviors results to be addictive and impulsive due to grave psychological side effects of purging. Such conditions can also pave way for a patient’s mental health condition. The chemical reaction involved in self-prompted vomiting process is likely to add despair and uneasiness in individuals.

Purging Disorder vs other Eating Disorders

  • Purging disorders differ from AN: Patients with AN are comparatively underweight than the patients with purging disorders. It is important to know the extent of the distinguishing feature of weight alterations between the two in order to determine the type of treatment to be provided to each patient.
  • Purging disorder differ from BN: Patients with BN indulge in recurring and large binge eating episodes whereas patients with purging disorders involve no binge eating episodes. In case of a fixed size test meal, women with purging disorders show a higher cholecystokinin reaction in comparison to women with BN.
  • Purging disorder differ from BED: Individuals with purging disorder tend to be under normal weight whereas individuals with BED are obese.

Outlines of Comorbidity in Purging Disorder

You will find patients with purging order having higher proportion of mood swings and anxiety compared to individuals with no eating disorders. Comorbid anxiety syndromes occur in women with purging disorders for about 39% to 43%.

How to Treat a Patient with Purging Disorder

  • You should be aware and observant of the behavioral changes of the individual and handle the situation sensitively. Degrading the patient of his situation will only make the condition worse as they will tend to shameful and will likely maintain a distance from you.
  • Most of the patients with purging disorder fail to admit or realise that they are a victim of the condition. In such circumstance, you should play a role in making them understand the seriousness of the situation and help them realise what damages have occurred in relationships. Also, you should recommend remedies and help them to overcome the situation.
  • Understanding the symptoms of purging disorder, you should take immediate steps to give the patient a professional attention for cure.

Clinicians are advised to carefully access the symptoms of their patients prior to treating them. Further, if the experiences of treatment are published in various series, it will definitely assist in awareness of purging disorder syndromes.