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One of the side effects of eating disorders can be edema. Swelling of the soft tissues as a result of excess water accumulation in the spaces between the cells is known as edema. Pitting Edema is the type of swelling seen when you apply pressure to the swollen area, and an indentation is left.

Edema is most common in the legs and feet of compulsive overeaters and in the abdominal area of anorexics and/or bulimics. Edema is often caused by laxative and diuretic use. Edema can also occur in bulimics in the face and cheeks following self-induced vomiting.

Re-feeding edema may occur during the time the individual who has been depriving themselves of sustenance begins to eat again. Generally one of the causes of this edema is the lack of protein in the system. Consequently, professional psychological assistance during the re-feeding process is critical, as such edema can be terrifying for a person with an eating disorder.