Bulimia Nervosa | Signs and Symptoms | Treatment
The essence of the disease and its manifestations
Bulimia (bulimia nervosa) begins with eating restrictions, which can be preceded by anorexia. Bulimic sufferers’ ideas revolve around meals.
Restrictions on meals are followed by a loss of control over the number of meals eaten and impulsive overeating, after which, in turn, there is a strong sense of guilt and concern associated with an increase in body weight.
During a binge that lasts several hours, the affected person can consume up to 6000 kcal. With low bodily exercise, the recommended amount of energy consumed by a 19-30-year-old woman is 2000-2100 kcal. An individual makes attempts to get rid of the effects of overeating by inducing vomiting or taking laxatives. It is commonly difficult to distinguish bulimia from anorexia because each condition can cause vomiting and food restrictions.
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Such eating habits usually remains unnoticed for a very long time, because it’s hidden from others, and only the affected person himself is aware of about the other side of the disease. However, family members can recognize bulimia by the fact that an individual eats a lot but does not gain weight, prefers to eat alone when others are already asleep if large quantities of meals mysteriously disappear from the fridge if an individual goes to the bathroom after eating. Overeating attacks normally trigger negative feelings such as fatigue, anxiety, exhaustion, and depression. Bulimia nervosa could be accompanied by attempted suicide, self-harm, or substance use.
Bulimia is a pervasive eating disorder and is 2 to 3 times more common than anorexia. It normally begins between the ages of 15-24. About 90% of these with bulimia are women. The risk group includes dancers, gymnasts, models, runners – they usually have bulimia. Family members have a significant impact: a child whose parents always criticize his appearance is more likely to become a sufferer of bulimia or other eating disorder.
In terms of physical health, bulimic victims have erosion of tooth enamel due to acidity of vomiting, a swollen face because of enlarged salivary glands, and abrasions on the hands that result from vomiting and fluid loss. Frequent vomiting or taking drugs that lead to nutritional deficiencies can even trigger physiological changes in the body – for example, electrolyte imbalance, seizures, heart rhythm disturbances, and many others.
uncontrolled absorption of food – until you feel worse
eating large portions in a short time
following strict diets that alternate with overeating
an individual begins to create stocks of fast food at home
forced induction of vomiting
utilizing laxatives and diuretics to control weight
obsession with bodyweight
negative beliefs about your body and low self-esteem
persistent mood swings and depression
weakness and fatigue
Distance from family and mates, increasingly deeper isolation and immersion in oneself
Both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can be accompanied by compulsive over-training when an individual workout routine to the point where it begins to be devastating to their health. Through sports activities, the affected person tries to get rid of the energy received from meals or even exercises to allow himself to eat.
The main health problems accompanying bulimia are:
Loss of teeth
Gum disease, mouth ulcers
Lack of minerals
Heart rhythm issues
Liver and kidney injury.
In some circumstances, if positive, self-esteem changes happen in life, bulimia could go away without treatment; however, treatment is normally required. Since social and psychological factors cause bulimia in addition to low self-esteem, its treatment requires psychotherapy.
At the first stage, the affected person is taught to eat usually and always monitor this, avoiding conditions that lead to overeating; teach to deal with stress other than food. In the second stage, the bulimic individual is made aware that he has other values in addition to his own body. Group therapy has also proven a positive impact. Treatment of bulimia is a long course of, on average, 80% of sufferers are cured, but most of them remain focused on weight and food for life.