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Can bulimia or annorexia cause Interstitial Cystitis ?

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Practicing since : 2004
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I would like to know if my previous bulimia / annorexia could have been partial cause to my current Interstitial Cystitis, and Levator Ani syndrome that started within weeks of my full abdominal hysterectomy.. The behaviour is something that I started developing after a very violent episode I dont want to discuss here. I want to tell my psychologist very badly about this, I feel like I am going to relapse quickly if not, really I already have in some ways by over restricting my diet, it is very hard not to succumb to the stress and compulsion I feel every time I eat. But I dont want my doctors to stop treating me, my insurance to stop carrying me and for everything to be automatically blamed on this so they can send me out the door untreated. I had managed to not purge for 10months, but I did lose 20lbs after surgery because the pain decreased my apetite so much. I dont want my GP that I have had for 10 years to lecture me, Im trying very hard to deal with this, and be healthy. I just dont know what to do. I dont think I could stand it if someone were to tell me I cant recover... I cant find where anyone does. Also I am suffering so much with my IC, the instillations are all that gets me through the week enough to work the hours I do. The diet restrictions do not help... at all... Another excuse not to eat...
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Eating Disorders
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 12 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Important points of your query:
•     Long duration of symptoms of Bulimia and anorexia nervosa
•     Recent abdominal hysterectomy followed by weight loss, Interstitial Cystitis and Levator Ani syndrome.
•     Currently on medication: Wellbutrin (Bupropion), Clonazepam and Librax (chlordiazepoxide and clidinium bromide)
First it was nice to see comprehensive description with good use of medical words in spite of so much suffering.

List of some of Medical Complications of Eating Disorders:

•     Cachexia: Loss of fat, muscle mass
•     Hematological: Leukopenia leading to increase chances of infection
•     Digestive-gastrointestinal: Delayed gastric emptying, bloating, constipation, abdominal pain
•     Reproductive: Amenorrhea, low levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
•     Neuropsychiatric: mild neuropathies, fatigue and weakness, Mild cognitive disorder

From above description it is clear that Bulimia and anorexia can lead to Weight loss, Interstitial Cystitis and Levator Ani syndrome like problems because of cachexia and haematological complication.

Any postoperative state is a big stress for person especially if it associated with complications like in your case, which can lead to relapse of symptoms of bulimia/anorexia.

Following steps will help you:
•     Seek urgent help from your current psychologist/psychiatrist.
•     Inform your physician about your anorexia related problem and about the treatment related to it if possible. Even you can take help of your psychologist to communicate your problem to physician, so that they can work together to relieve your psychological and physical symptoms.

Hope this answers your query. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wishing you Good Health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can bulimia or annorexia cause Interstitial Cystitis ? 8 hours later
What can you tell me statistically about recovery and relapse causes, in your experience not as per a study. I would like to know also in your experience how the average PPO (BCBS) classifies this? Is it considered a mental disorder, or is it treated as a physical illness. Bottom line have you had issues with a ppo paying you to treat this?
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 14 hours later
Hello again,

In India prevalence of eating disorder is less and treatment seeking is also very low. In my experience overall short term outcome is good but patients tend to lose follow up in long term.

Indicators of a favourable outcome are admission of hunger, lessening of denial and immaturity, and improved self-esteem. Such factors as childhood neuroticism, parental conflict, bulimia nervosa, vomiting, laxative abuse, and various behavioral manifestations (e.g., obsessive-compulsive, hysterical, depressive, psychosomatic, neurotic, and denial symptoms) have been related to poor outcome in some studies.

Ten-year outcome studies in the United States have shown that about one fourth of patients recover completely and another one half are markedly improved and functioning fairly well.

Bulimia and anorexia nervosa considered as psychiatric disorder but complications apart from psychological may be considered as a physical disorder. But it will depend how your physician, psychiatrist and insurance company judge it.

In my experience it is best to share your worry to your physician and psychiatrist as they always try to help patient by best possible means.

Hope this answers your query.

Wishing you Good Health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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