Bulimia is basically a psychological eating disorder also referred to as binge eating. It is a condition that goes beyond out of controlled dieting. The condition is characterized by a cycle of overeating and purging that is similar to any addiction of drugs or other substances.
You may restore to secretive overeating also called as bingeing followed by vomiting/purging (self induced), laxative abuse, or use of enemas in an attempt to keep your weight under control. You may also decide to fast for few days following the binge episode or restore to excessive exercise in order to get rid of the possible weight gained. Your episodes of binge eating may not be triggered by intense hunger.
You are more likely to be suffering from this condition if you are a girl in your teens, have other addictions, history of drug or alcohol abuse, compulsive or affective disorders, or have been unsuccessful with a variety of dieting methods.
Genetic predisposition is supposed to play a role in you developing the condition. Few other reasons why bulimia develops in you are attributed to chemical imbalances in the brain and abnormal levels of certain hormones.
Certain factors such as fear of gaining weight, desperately wanting to lose weight, and being unhappy with body shape and image are similar between anorexics and bulimics.
If you follow self starvation, restrict your diet intake, fear becoming fat, and exercise heavily then maybe you suffer from anorexia.
You may show traits of being a perfectionist with a sense of control in your life. If you are bulimic you would indulge in periods of binge eating followed by self induced vomiting to overcome the feelings of guilt and depression.
You may be overweight or fall within the normal range for your age and weight unlike someone who has anorexia. You have a good long term prognosis and higher chances of recovery.
Causes of bulimia are:
While it may be difficult to single out any cause for bulimia, your perception of your body image and weight play important roles among other contributing factors.
You may also have trouble managing emotions in a healthy way. You may be one of those who binge and purge when feeling angry, depressed, stressed or anxious.
Few organic causes such as abnormalities in the levels of chemical messengers within the brain, decreased perceptions of satiety, and abnormal production of hormones are being investigated.
You are likely to be suffering from bulimia if you have the following symptoms:
You may be suffering from bulimia if you satisfy the five basic criteria that include;
When you live with bulimia you are not only putting your body, but also your life at risk. You are susceptible to a range of medical complications and adverse effects due to the condition.
You may develop dehydration that is one of the most dangerous side effects of purging. Bulimia nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder.
Electrolyte imbalances in your body due to use of laxatives and diuretics can cause lethargy, cloudy thinking, irregular heartbeat, kidney failure and death.
Weight gain, acid reflux or ulcers, abdominal pain, chronic sore throat, tooth decay, ruptured stomach or oesophagus, chronic constipation, and broken blood vessels in the eye are among the many possible complications.
If you are a woman you may experience irregular menstrual cycles or loss of menstrual periods.
You may want to hide your problem for fear of ridicule from family and friends. But remember early treatment for anorexia makes recovery easier and faster; so talk to your friend or family member if you are worried.
Also if you know someone who suffers from bulimia, don’t force that person to change their behavior or beliefs. While it may be undeniably difficult to bring up such a delicate subject don’t let this stop you from voicing your concerns.
Communicate your concerns in a loving and non-confrontational way.
Avoid critical and accusatory statements and instead focus on the specific behaviours that are of concern.
You can make a difference to the person’s life by showing that you care, offering support, and encouraging him/her to seek professional help.