Laxatives and vomiting are equally dangerous. Both lead to dehydration and an disturbances of electrolytes which can be damaging to your friend, and things like her heart.
When she vomits, or uses laxatives her body would loose many electrolytes but i particular it would be loosing potassium - if this level drops too low it can play havoc with her heart - her heart rhythm can fall out of it's normal pattern. It can end up being fatal if the levels are that disordered.
I can understand if you you feel you are not able to be there for your friend. It is very draining for either a sufferer or a onlooker. However if you do need to step back from the caring role I would encourage you at first to talk to your friend and encourage she seek help. It will be normal that she denies the need for it - saying that she is fine - doesn't need it - and things alone those lines - but the truth is she does need it. She is out of control and she is scared to admit it. Her eating disorder is talking to her and is very loud and is not prepared to give up control as yet.
Depending on her age you need to let someone else know before you step back - whether that be a teacher if she is at school - or her parents if she is older. There is a good chance she may really be angry wit you for a while but eventually when she is in treatment and is getting better she will thank you for it.
I currently have anorexia nervosa and have been quite unwell again for 12 months - as a result I am no longer able to work, my relationship with my family is terrible, , there is a good chance that I will have to sell the house my husband and I are currently payign off. I am due to go back into hospital on Monday. I wish someone stood up and fought for me sooner. Maybe things woudln't have gotten to this point.View Thread
The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.
Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.