People experiencing eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating) are regularly seen in gastrointestinal services. Eating disorders have direct effects on the gastrointestinal system causing symptoms such as severe constipation. A person with an eating disorder may be unaware of this disorder or deny its existence. Also, the symptoms of an eating disorder can conceal an underlying gastrointestinal disorder.
This presentation discusses the importance of identifying the presence of eating disorders in patients attending gastrointestinal services and the effects of eating disorders on the gastrointestinal tract. Advice on assessment and referral to appropriate services is outlined.