A dangerous combination of binge and purge


  • Conflict of Interest: None of the authors have commercial or biomedical industry support and have not identified any potential conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this case study


We present a 36-year-old female diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 11 years. In 2001, she underwent a total colectomy and further small bowel resection as a result of active Crohn's. Her residual anatomy consisted of 150 cm of small bowel to an end jejunostomy. Subsequently, she developed short bowel syndrome with recurrent episodes of hypomagnesaemia, hypocalcaemia, and hypokalaemia. Dietetic assessment revealed her to be severely underweight at 37 kg with a bodymass index (BMI) of 14.4 kg/m2. During her admission, our patient underwent psychiatric assessment and was established on home parenteral nutrition (HPN). At the time of discharge, 1 month later, her weight had increased to 44 kg (BMI = 17.7 kg/m2). Over the following 12-month period, she lost weight (BMI, 15.4 mg/m2; weight, 39.5 kg) and she described a high stoma output (up to 17 L) and dehydration. Assessment of her oral intake found she was consuming an estimated 14,000 kcal and 600 g protein per day. At this time, the possibility of a new form of eating disorder was discussed with the patient and she agreed that her behavior i.e., using her stoma as a purging device, fulfilled the criteria for a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa and she was referred to a specialist eating disorder unit. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)