When Terri was 18 years old, she weighed 250 pounds. She developed an eating disorder, lost 100 pounds, got married and trimmed down to a Calvin Klein-acceptable 110. The only problem was, she was killing herself doing it. Her bulimia likely led to a potassium deficiency, which ultimately led to cardiac arrest and severe brain damage. Then she became the Terri we’ve come to love over the past few weeks.
The wikipedia page on Terri also mentions a similar theory.
According to the Wikipedia entry on Bulimia,
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Bulimia nervosa, more commonly known as bulimia, is a psychological condition in which the subject engages in recurrent binge eating followed by intentionally doing one or more of the following in order to compensate for the intake of the food and prevent weight gain:
inappropriate use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics or other medication