Will Bulimia have long term effect on my vocal folds?

Posted , 3 users are following.

I'm studying singing at a very competitive school - focussing mainly on opera and song.

I'm trying so desperately to give up my eating habits and chose a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes I fall back into old habits, and this usually lasts a week. Other times I can keep my lifestyle balance and don't fall into the Bulimia Nervosa trap.

How much effect will my sickness have on my voice long term?

Will I be making irreversible damage?

0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    I have been B/P for almost 4/5 months now and the more you do this the more damage you will make on the body and mind.  Everyone is different in how they react to purging but if you are purging on a consistant basis it can lead to a lot of different irreversible damages like The research on the damage that frequent forced vomiting (usually in the context of an eating disorder such as Bulimia Nervosa) causes to vocal cords is somewhat inconclusive. But it does point to likely damage of vocal cords as a result of small amounts of vomit finding its way into the larynx each time you vomit. How many times does one have to vomit to cause damage? This is unclear and it may not be the same for everyone, but there is risk of vocal cord damage, voice changes over time, chronic laryngitis, and/or hoarseness developing as a result of the purging.I know when I have jusy purged I sound really gruff
  • Posted

    Dear Will to Change,

    Yes it does, I have expierenced it as wel! Because of the fact that your school is so competetive it brings a lot of stress/anxiety with it somethimes, correct me if I am wrong.

    It is good that you can control yourself, but after a while this will be normal for you allowing yourself a binge/purge and it migh even feel as a relief which will make you do it more and more often. After that you can deffenitly make damage on your voice cause of the purging!

    Try and find out why you fall into bad habbits and take control of that so that when you feel you are falling into it again, you can help yourself by accepting a binge without purging and the day after start over . or the next meal and do it better!

    You are at an early stage do something about it before you end up losing that which I am sure off AMAZING VOICE!  raise up and go to a doctor or physioligist . they also have these people in school.

    regards, Good luck

    YOu can do it!! YOu are willing to change!

    • Posted

      Dear Elanora, 

      You're right. Competitiveness and stress often does make me anxious. I'm definitely on a learning curb - understanding how not take everything so seriously is hard be useful to remind myself.

      I did go to see my GP who was sympathetic and encouraging and transfered me to a clinic where I saw psychiatrist. Unfortunately the Doctor left and I felt utterly uncomfortable with her cover. I have asked the clinic since to be removed from the list and instead trying to be heathier by being more active and a diet which consists more of fruits, veg and protein. So far, so good smile 

  • Posted

    OMG I had exactly the same, Doctor left and saw that as a sign or extra courage to climb that little bits step by step up.

    It is good to hear that you are doiing good on a nutrioun foodplan which indeed has the right nutrisions!

    If you feel the stress/anxiety coming up try to have a plan b not to trigger yourself on doiing harm for your body.

    have like a sportclass or yoga scheduled week (once or twice a week) or a hobby like a gig where you can relief that stress and get new energy out!!

    Well done and keep up the good work!

    Proud of ya! (i know it sounds strange, but you are a right example)


    • Posted

      Such a relief to hear someone else in my situation who took the same iniciative! 

      My plan B has been going to gym classes. I've filled my diary with all the classes I like so I can plan my schedule around them and study. It prevents me from overworking and also takes my mind off things. Naturally I'm quite phsyical and need to expell my energy on something else rather than food !

      How have things been working out for you? 


  • Posted

    Well done!

    Yes I am happy to share these things with someone same position! That

    s why these forums are amazing!

    Ok here it comes;

    I turned my weakness into a strength years ago. Started working out relieving that stress through sports and I did several jobs in my life. But I was determined to use sports as a 2nd job next to my normal studies. This ment I hadt take courses for in the weekend to learn about nutrition and the body/muscles. I was more then happy to learn about these topics to understand my body as well and the nutrition facts.

    after doiing these courses in the weekend in addition to my own job and studies. I decided to quit my job at the restaurant and since my 3 years now I am giving sportclasses in several gyms and health tips etc.

    I love the job and I do it several hours a week, It gives me such a boost and power!! that's why I decided to quit uni for a bit cause I don't want to go in that stressflow again! And go for more sport licencies and help people / ond day write a book or just do something like passing through the hope!! Just like what you do!!

    but like sometimes it's hard making nutrition plans for others etc and trying not to walk over your own by scheduling a lot. THat balance always get's of my rails when it is the end of the schoolperiod like know.

    But I am determined enough to go for more sport courses and PT etc.

    And you? would you stop uni if you had a degree allready but felt like you couldnt hande the pressure for now?

    Regards x

    • Posted

      You really took an executive decision and embraced change. WOW!!

      Such a great example of how you can convert your energy into something new, challenging and motivational. Sounds like you're an all round patron for sports, nutrition and general good health encouragement. 

      I've noticied with my studies that as long as I don't channel myself completely with continuous studies every hour of the day then I can cope with uni. Alongside my studies I teach, work (related to singing and unrelated) and have recently started a new business. Sports help me considerably in all aspects, especially vocal stamina and confidence. 

      You know the feeling of missing someone the less you see them? I have a similar relasionship with singing! I love what I do and couldn't fathom giving up. It's understanding how to keep a balance that keeps me afloat. However, I've done many years of studies and now feel it's time to move onto the next stage which has lots of options. Moving abroad is an option I'm exploring atm. 

      Uni isn't for everyone. No matter what you do you have to be passionate and determined. I'm sure that these objectives led you to where you are now and that's why you stopped Uni.

      We all occsionally fall off the rails - you and I have both experienced it the hard way. If it becomes habitual, take a step back and re-assess. I can completely sympathise though. Practising what you preach is damn hard!   

      Aside from your sports, do you have hobbies? 

      Best wishes x


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