Bulimia:An Eating Disorder

In today’s instagram world,People especially adolescents are getting image and body conscious.They look at the perfect bodies of celebrities and aspire to be like them.In this aspiration,they are psychologically and physically wounded.Most of such people experience eating disorders where in they undergo extreme changes in their eating and exercise habits.Ultimately they damage themselves.

So,in today’s blog lets look at one of the eating disorders called Bulimia Nervosa,it’s causes and it’s impacts.Let’s get started.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by episodes of binge eating—consuming a lot of food quickly—followed by compensatory behavior, most commonly vomiting or “purging.” People who are bulimic often feel a lack of control over their eating. A bulimic can consume as many as 3,400 calories in little more than an hour and as many as 20,000 calories in eight hours.

People with bulimia often know they have a problem and are afraid of their inability to stop eating. Bingeing is then followed by purging — namely, self-induced vomiting or the abuse of diuretics or laxatives. Bingeing and purging are often performed in secret, with feelings of shame alternating with relief.

The bingeing and purging cycle is usually repeated several times a week. As with anorexia, people with bulimia often have coexisting psychological illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems. Many physical dysfunctions result from the purging, including electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal troubles, and dental problems.

An estimated one to four percent of females have bulimia nervosa during their lifetime. The prevalence in males is unknown, but bulimia nervosa is far less common in males than females. Most cases begin in the late teens and early 20s, but can go undetected until the 30s or 40s.

SYMPTOMS

Bulimia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Being preoccupied with your body shape and weight
  • Living in fear of gaining weight
  • Repeated episodes of eating abnormally large amounts of food in one sitting
  • Feeling a loss of control during bingeing — like you can’t stop eating or can’t control what you eat
  • Forcing yourself to vomit or exercising too much to keep from gaining weight after bingeing
  • Using laxatives, diuretics or enemas after eating when they’re not needed
  • Fasting, restricting calories or avoiding certain foods between binges
  • Using dietary supplements or herbal products excessively for weight loss

CAUSES

Exact causes are not completely known and are believed to complex.Hence there is no single known cause of bulimia, but there are some factors that may play a part,such as:

  • Culture:As in strict body expectations:Slim and trim girls wanted for marriage in India.
  • Families:Constant pressure and criticism from parents on looks of children
  • Life changes or stressful events: can trigger bulimia.
  • Personality traits: Those with bulimia may have low self-esteem and feel hopeless.
  • Biology.:Genes, hormones, and other biological factors may contribute to development of bulimia.

Impact

Bulimia has a great impact on the individual and can lead to following complications:

  • Negative self-esteem and problems with relationships and social functioning
  • Dehydration leading to kidney failure
  • Heart problems
  • Severe tooth decay and gum disease
  • Absent or irregular periods in females
  • Digestive problems
  • Anxiety, depression, personality disorders or bipolar disorder
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Self-injury and suicidal thoughts.

Management

If left untreated,bulimia can create major complications in life as mentioned above.Hence if you see your loved ones experiencing symptoms of bulimia,support them and console them.If the symptoms are unbearable,immediately consult a doctor and psychologist who will be able to help the patient successfully.

Please spread empathy and kindness.Acceptance and kindness can prevent bulimia in such insecure people.Every difficulty can be defeated with empathy,patience and willingness to improve and come out.

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Thankyou!

Stay Kind!