Health Promotion

University of Mississippi

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect millions of Americans; approximately twenty million women and ten million men suffer at some time in their life. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified affect a person’s emotional and physical health. Eating disorders are serious and people with a disorder need to seek professional help. Many health consequences derived from eating disorders include:

  • Abnormally slow heart and low blood pressure
  • Reduction of bone density
  • Muscle loss, fainting, fatigue, and overall weakness
  • Severe dehydration
  • Dry hair and skin; hair loss is common
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Tooth decay, staining from stomach acids
  • Irregular bowel movements and constipation

Anorexia nervosa: self-starvation and excessive weight loss

Bulimia nervosa: a cycle of binging and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating

Binge eating: recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating

Eating disorders not otherwise specified: can include any combination of signs and symptoms typical of anorexia and bulimia

Eating disorders can be life threatening and should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know needs help, contact the Counseling Center at (662) 915-3784 (DRUG).

Get the facts on eating disorders. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association. Retrieved January 28, 2013, from