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Bulimic and my nose has started bleeding everytime I throw up

My nose has started bleeding everytime I throw up. I'm bulimic (15 F) and I haven't had my period for 4 months. Is the nose bleeds somthing I should worry about? Or is it normal?
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134578 tn?1614729226
Well, normal doesn't include throwing up, no periods for 4 months, *or* nosebleeds. So, no, it's not normal, and yes, you should worry, but it's about the bigger problem.

When someone is forcing themself to throw up, it brings erosive stomach acid into contact with parts of the body that aren't built to take the acid. The classic problem is erosion of the esophagus; it's one of those side effects of bulimia that you often read about, and it can get very dangerous very fast. In fact, if the esophagus tears, it can actually be life-threatening. If you are sure the blood comes from your nose and not from further down -- there is nothing to prevent the stomach acid you're throwing up from also affecting the nose, via the throat.

Can you not get help to address the bulimia? It's dangerous for you in so many ways. My husband's cousin just died from a ruptured esophagus, so please don't take this as just another person tsk-tsking about bulimia. If your esophagus tears or ruptures, unless you have the foresight to be standing in the operating room at a hospital with surgeons at the ready when it happens, the likelihood of being rescued is very slim. According to the coroner, our cousin simply had the rupture, and fell down and died all in about 5 minutes. Believe me, what we're talking about is serious. And if your nose (which gets less contact with the stomach acid) is bleeding from the vomiting, imagine what the stomach acid has done to your esophagus.

There are other ways to lose weight. There are also other ways to feel a sense of control of your life and your body. If at all possible, please see a counselor who knows about these issues. Take care -- Annie

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1 Comments
Great info, Annie.

I just wanted to add that your period stopping could be an indication that you aren't getting enough nutrition or calories, or that your body fat has dropped too low.  This happens in a lot of elite athletes, but it isn't healthy.  Women actually need a certain amount of body fat for our bodies to function properly, and when we don't have regular cycles, it can cause problems.  One long term side effect of amenorrhea (the absence of periods) is bone loss, which in someone so young makes me concerned.  Also, an absence of periods can cause fertility issues, which at 15 might not be a problem if you currently aren't trying to get pregnant, but something you might not want permanently screwed up.

Please, please talk to an adult in your life that you can trust about your bulimia.  And please, if you can get to a doctor to talk about these problems, go to a doctor.  Eating disorders are often caused by trying to get control of our lives when everything else seems out of our control.  2020 has been an awful year for so many people, being a teenager is already difficult, I can't imagine how that combined with everything else going on this year can affect your mental health, and mental health issues are the same as any other health issues.  If you had a broken bone, you would go to a doctor right?  You can also go to a doctor if you are feeling depressed or anxious or if you have an eating disorder.  I've gone to the ER for a panic attack before.  Mental health issues happen and are nothing to be ashamed of, but are something that may need the medical attention to address.  A good doctor will listen to your problems and help you find a solution.  It might not be easy, and  I know the first step of telling someone that you have a problem can be extremely difficult, but I'm positive there are people in your life that care about you and want you to be healthy.

I know it is difficult discussing these things, and acknowledging you have a problem is very brave.  You are worth getting treatment for bulimia.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and I hope you feel better and have fewer nosebleeds - it sounds scary and I'm so sorry you are going through this.

Avatar universal
One possibility is you've just dried up.  I do get nosebleeds, it started in high school and it still happens in my old age, but not all the time, just sometimes, but when it does, it can keep doing it for awhile.  It could also be the pushing you're doing when you force yourself to vomit.  Please heed the above advice, you don't want to stay bulimic.  As said above, cholesterol makes your sexual hormones, and if you don't have enough fat in your system you can't make them properly.  Your body is telling you, it's time to get this treated.    
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973741 tn?1342342773
Being irregular at 15 with your period IS normal as many teens are irregular BUT you are likely not having a period is probably due to the eating disorder.  I'm so sorry hon, this must be so hard for you.  Do your parents know about your throwing up?  I'm sure you are very stressed.  The reality is that an eating disorder will catch up to the rest of you which is why it becomes more and more dangerous.  

I so agree that acknowledging that you are very brave to ask for help.  I'm worried about you.  

Nosebleeds have been associated with the vomiting process of bulimia.  There are some different theories as to why but it is commonly associated.  

We are, of course, all hoping you can overcome purging.  It's such a rough cycle, sweetie.  I'm again, very sorry you are in this.  Here is a guide of self help for you https://keltyeatingdisorders.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Bulimia-Self-Help-Manual.pdf  It's pretty comprehensive but well worth the read.  Some  might be a little hard at this point for you but the important take away is that this is a guide to help someone if they are not quite ready to reach out to a professional which we'd all love you to do.  Mood is altered by bulimia.  Perhaps you could start with a therapist?  I have a 16 year old who suffers depression and anxiety and we have had him see a therapist.  He goes by himself.  During covid, his sessions were virtual and he went to his room for privacy.  Cognitive therapy for bulimia is one of the very best treatments.  Is there ANY way you could do this?  

Also, please do not brush your teeth for two hours after throwing up or you will wash the enamel  off your teeth.  I want you to retain your pretty smile.

We're here to talk so PLEASE come back.  hugs
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