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How can bulimia cause heart attacks?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Desarbo
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree

In brief: Usually Electrolytes

The common cause of heart attacks and cardiac abnormalities found with bulimia is due to major changes in the body's electrolyte balance secondary to binging and purging (vomiting, laxatives, diet pills, etc).
Such behaviors alter electrolytes like potassium, sodium and chloride which regulate the heart muscles to function. Also a dysregulation of the autonomic stress-response system takes place.

In brief: Usually Electrolytes

The common cause of heart attacks and cardiac abnormalities found with bulimia is due to major changes in the body's electrolyte balance secondary to binging and purging (vomiting, laxatives, diet pills, etc).
Such behaviors alter electrolytes like potassium, sodium and chloride which regulate the heart muscles to function. Also a dysregulation of the autonomic stress-response system takes place.
Dr. Jeffrey Desarbo
Dr. Jeffrey Desarbo
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