J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Nov
Bulimia from a gynecological view: hormonal changes.
Resch M, Szendei G, Haasz P.
Department of Psychiatry, Erzsebet County Hospital, Sopron, Hungary. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gynecological problems are one of the most frequent somatic complications of eating disorders. The purpose of the present study was to assess the role of improper eating habits in the aetiology of menstrual disturbances, anovulation and hormonal related changes.
Bulimia nervosa is the focus of attention since amenorrhea is considered a diagnostic criterium in anorexia nervosa. Subjects of the BITE (Bulimia Investigation Test, Edinburgh) test who were infertile were studied (n = 58) In the studied population there were 6 cases of clinical and 8 cases of subclinical bulimia nervosa.
Symptoms and severity subscales of the BITE test significantly correlated with body mass index (p = 0.003). All 14 patients suffering from clinical and subclinical bulimia nervosa had pathologically low FSH and LH hormone levels. In those with clinical bulimia nervosa (n = 6) we diagnosed 4 cases of multicystic ovary (MCO) and in the eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) group (n = 22) there were 2 cases of MCO and 5 cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
The results suggest that unsatisfactory nutrition (binges and “crash diet”) in bulimia nervosa results in hormonal dysfunction, menstrual disturbances and infertility. The authors question the necessity for immediately estrogen replacement: they consider the reversibility of the hormonal status by early treatment of eating disorders is more appropriate. Excessive use of hormonal contraceptives in therapy has to be questioned.