Purging Disorder

Monday, Jun 28  •  


Purging Disorder

Purging disorder is an eating disorder that involves “purging” behavior to induce weight loss or manipulate body shape. While it is not one of the most common disorders, it is important to understand as it is often confused with bulimia. Purging can include: 

  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Misuse of laxatives or medications
  • Excessive exercise
  • Fasting 

Purging Disorder vs. Bulimia 

Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that often occurs in a cycle of binge-eating behavior followed by a period of purging. While bulimia and purging disorder can both share purging behaviors, the main difference is that there’s a compulsion to binge eat with bulimia. Purging disorder is defined as engaged in purging behaviors without it being in response to binge-eating. 


  • Recurring episodes of purging behaviors to lose weight, including: 
    • Self-induced vomiting
    • Laxative or diuretic misuse
    • Misuse of enemas
    • Fasting
    • Excessive exercise
  • Significant emotional distress or disruption to social, work, or personal life
  • Fear of gaining weight or obsession with losing weight
  • Self-esteem issues heavily induced by body shape or weight

It is important to note that these assessments don’t qualify as a diagnosis. If you think you have an eating disorder, speak with your doctor. 

Side Effects

Purging disorder can cause many serious side effects to your health, including: 

  • Feeling faint
  • Mood swings
  • Scarred hands
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Kidney failure 
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Nutrient deficiencies

Self-induced vomiting can also lead to severe damage to other areas of your body over time including your teeth, esophagus, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. 
Purging disorder is a serious mental health condition caused by repeated cycles of purging to manipulate weight or body shape. If you or someone you know has a purging disorder or is suffering from other disordered eating habits, give us a call at 866-680-1566 or visit our website for more information.