WHAT IS BULIMIA NERVOSA?
Bulimia nervosa is a disorder of eating behavior that is characterized by people who suffer often occur recurrent binge in which they ingest large amounts of food in a short interval of time. That is they eat more food than most people, at the same time. Bulimics (people suffering from Bulimia nervosa disorder) are unable to control the eating drive that eventually leads them to eat and they feel that they can not stop eating. However, they feel shame and embarrassment after eating too much foods, which motivate them to a purge (self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives or diuretics or both), demanding management or extra workout and exercise to counter act the effects of large meals and prevent obesity. These people have average 15 episodes of binge eating and vomiting for a week. Generally their weights are apparently normal, making it difficult to uncover the disease. Research reveals that in single binge can get to consume 10,000 to 40,000 calories.
This disease can be categorized in to two subtypes:
- Purgative: During the episode of bulimia nervosa the patient suffering with self induce vomiting or other purging methods such as laxatives, enema after bingeing or diuretics.
- Non purging: In this case the bulimia patients uses other compensatory behaviors such as fasting, compulsive exercise and dieting to get rid of calories and weight gain but does not resort to vomiting and laxatives.
Surprisingly the main and exact core cause of bulimia disorder is still unknown. There is no single factor or cause of this disorder, many factors contributing from the origin of this eating disorder. It may involve biological, psychological or emotional, social aspects and many other issues and expectations which readily distort the vision of the bulimia patient and have great fear of gaining weight.
Bulimia disorder patient is always very concerned about their weight. Additionally bulimia are not good about themselves (not only physically, not valued) .
Generalmente bulimia appears after taking countless harmful diets without any professional medical assistance. Patient leads to a strong state of anxiety and depression and also pathological need to digest large amounts of this food.
Still the biological susceptibility tangled in the development of the disease and also better known some sparks related to the social environment, diets and fear of taunting on the physical appearance it is unknown.
Further more there are some other prominent factors which coincide with those of “Anorexia Nervosa”, such as
- drug misuse,
- excessive weight gain,
- the diabetes mellitus,
- certain personality attributes,
- affective disorders arising in the family and
- distorted ideas of the body.
It is important to clarify that the eating disorder did not show up when it manifests one of these factors, but is the confluence of which may lead to bulimia.
Largely people with disorder of bulimia are obese or have carry out various diets without proper medical supervision and assistance. Bulimics attempts to conceal vomiting and purging, so the disease usually goes unrecognized for a long time. Commonly signs and symptoms of a pattern of bulimia are:
- Over eating : Eat a lot of food items in a very short interval of time and has no check and balance over eating. Have anxious about control, in which you think you can, but you cannot stop eating. They eating until the point of pain or discomfort.
Bulimic try to avoid places where there is crowd, so their behavior is not usually a social. They usually tends to be isolated and food is their main and only topic of conversation. Moreover, the lack of control over the food items may yield extreme feelings of anxiety, guilt and shame.
- Laxatives : To prevent weight gain and offset the excess or binge meals. The patient causes vomiting, misuse laxatives, diuretics, drugs, enema after eating or uses other means to enable it to control weight.
- Repetition : The cycles of binge eating and self induce vomiting at least twice or thrice in a week are appeared.
- Low self-esteem:People suffering from Bulimia nervosa having low self-esteem. As their behavior changes gradually.
In addition to the general symptoms these can be distinguished into following:
Patients with bulimia nervosa is characterized by high impulsivity and low self-control. This can cause besides bingeing, bulimia patients tends to get into trouble or get into arguments with ease, taking big swings.
Moreover, as the have very low self-esteem often they appear symptoms of anxiety and abuse alcohol and drugs. Bulimics may also be kleptomaniac and gamblers.
Physical symptoms of bulimia disorder are very obvious some includes;
- weakness and dizziness,
- headaches or muscles aches,
- swelling of the face by increasing the salivary glands,
- swollen of parotid glands,
- teeth issues like discoloration,
- fluctuation in weight,
- menstrual irregularities,
- hair loss,
- scars and calluses on the knuckles or hands.
The clinical consequences of bulimia nervosa includes;
- Arrhythmias that may sometimes lead to heart attacks or cardiac arrest.
- Irritable bowel movement
- Gastroesophageal reflux.
- Unexplained obesity.
- Hiatal hernia.
- Dental issues.
- Bone or muscles weight loss.
- Esophageal perforation.
- Gastric issues.
- Abdominal pain and bloating.
- Swollen hands and feet.
- Absent of menstrual periods.
When to see a doctor?
If you considered that you have any bulimia symptoms or signs, take medical assistance as soon as possible. As it is potentially life threatening disorder if left untreated it can seriously impact on your heath.
Talk and take serious advise to your mental health provider or primary health care provider about your feelings and bulimia nervosa symptoms. But if you are too much reluctant in seeking advise confide in any one about which situation you’re going through, whether your parents, siblings, friends, loved one or someone else you trust a lot. In this manner he/she can help you to take first step towards successful bulimia nervosa treatment.
Helping someone with bulimia nervosa symptoms:
If some one in your loved one have certain symptoms of bulimia, then have honest and open discussion about their problems. Can’t force him/her to seek doctor advise or professional care, but you can create an environment of support and encouragement. Now its your responsibility to find out qualified mental health care, make an appointment, and offer to go along to see a doctor for his/her moral support.
Some times people with bulimia nervosa disorders have normal weight or even very slightly obese, and it is not apparent for others that some thing gonna wrong with them. But if family or friends may be noticed that;
- He/She is worrying and constantly complaining about excessive weight gain.
- Excessive or being preoccupied with negative body shape.
- Foods that are normally avoided by others, repeatedly eating in large quantities in one sitting.
- Social phobia of not eating in front of anyone or in public places.
- Visit bathroom right after or during eating.
- Excessive exercising.
- Calluses on the knuckles or hands.
- Damaged gums and teeth or not having dental care.
- Talking all the time about favorite foods.
Bulimia nervosa disorder may seriously causes numerous complications which may lead to life threatening complications. Some possible complications may include;
- Severe gum diseases or tooth decay.
- Hormonal disorders in females such as absent or irregular periods.
- Leads to PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in females.
- Anxiety and serious depression.
- Suicide attempt.
- Cardio vascular disease such as heart failure or missing heart beats.
- Serious medical problems like kidney failure.
- Moods disorders.
- Serious digestive issues.
- Excessive and misuse of drugs and alcohol.
- Chronic constipation due to laxative abuse.
- Swollen cheeks and salivary glands.
- Stomach ulcer and ruptured esophagus.
How bulimia affects the body
Bulimia nervosa disorder affects badly on patients body. The medicines which are used to induce vomiting after a binge take serious cautions. Regular use those medicine which induce vomiting such as ipecac syrup can be deadly. This syrup leads to heart damage and sudden cardiac failure.
Tests and Diagnosis
If your mental health provider or doctor suspects that you are suffering from bulimia disorder, then he/she will commonly perform following;
- Physical examination
- Complete blood test
- Urine test
- Psychological evaluation, such as discussion of eating habits and concerns and your possible attitude towards food items.
Health care provider also suggest some additional test in order to diagnose the real issue, and rule out the medical causes for apparent weight changes and related issues.
Treatments and Drugs
When some one diagnoses the bulimia disorder then he/she under goes several types of treatment. Eating disorder has to be multidisciplinary and considered each patient individually according to their medical case.
Mainly two approaches to treatment are considered effective are psychotherapy and drugs. Effectiveness of psychotherapy with antidepressants overcomes the eating behaviour disorders and helps to control the bulimia nervosa. In bulimia nervosa treatment following people are generally involves;
- Patient’s family or friends
- Health care provider/doctor
- Mental health provider
- Experienced dietitian
Here’s are some bulimia treatment options and considerations. Have a look;
Psychotherapy, is widely known as psychological counseling and talk therapy, it involves discussion about related issues and major concerns of bulimia with mental health provider. Facts prove that these sorts of psychotherapy widely helps to control and improve bulimia symptoms;
- Family based therapy it readily help parents to take part to prevent and even stop or alter their children unhealthy eating behaviours, and help their teenager’s to regain control over their own eating with positive attitude. It leads towards the healthy development of children and deals with their bulimia issues.Some times collaborating with family may trigger the factors of disease to its minimum effects.
- Interpersonal psychotherapy this therapy is basically solve the difficulties in close relationships and help your self to communicate your problems and issues to them without any hesitation. This therapy helps to improve problem solving skills and also social communication.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy it helps to identify the ground of main issues by discussions and healthy and constructive table meeting. Sort out the unhealthy and negative behaviours and beliefs and replace them with healthy, constructive and healthy behaviours restructure the rational ideas and also corrects the misperception.
Medication along with psychotherapy and physical therapy contributes a lot. Generally antidepressants may help to reduce the symptoms of bulimia disorder. even though the dietitians also design the eating diet plan to bulimia patients in order to achieve healthy weight, good nutrients and normal eating habits.
Under gravity, the patient may require outpatient treatment or hospitalization.
- The first and foremost step should aim to prevent vomiting, normalize metabolic functioning of the patient and guide them to maintain a balanced diet and have good eating habits in order to become healthy.
- Bulimia nervosa tending to heal is some how achieved in 40 percent of examination, moreover it is an intermittent disorder which leads to become worsen and chronic some times. The mortality rate in this disorder exceeds that of anorexia due to complications from vomiting and use of purgatives.
But effective treatment can add a lot in your life to feel better about yourself, reverse serious complications and adopt healthier eating patterns.
In spite of the fact that there is no sure way to prevent this disorder, but with the help of healthier behavior, positive attitude and professional treatment the situation may be controlled well before worsens. Multidisciplinary apporaches should be used in order to prevent bulimia nervosa disorder. Here how you can help;
- Encourage the development and strengthen the support in your children towards healthy body image, no matter what their shape or size are.
- Pediatrician talk and advise worth a lot. Because he/she is in good position to point out very early indicators of an eating disorders. They even help to prevent its further development.
- Noticed if in your family, friends and anyone in your surrounding have food issues which may lead to eating disorder, supportive talking about their issue, and also provide the possible ground of help.
- Since the school and grooming institute could educate children about proper food and nutrition. They are also responsible to promote healthy communication, self-esteem, social skills and positive attitude among themselves.
- Professional experts emphasis upon the significance of social prevention and also collaboration designers, television presenters, models, advertisers, famous athletes and among other professions to circulate the messages that are released to the world population that influence weight loss and its consequential complications in responsible way.
- Furthermore, it is recommended that no excessive protection of the parents upon their children, it will facilitate the adolescent’s autonomy which leads to solve many problems and make their own decisions.
Factors that may increase the risk of bulimia nervosa disorder may include;
- Gender. Younger female, women and particularly young girls have this disorder are more likely than men or boys.
- Age factor. It often begins in late teen age or in early adulthood age.
- Biology or Genetic factor. Those people whose first-degree relatives like parents, children or sibling have eating disorders are more likely to develop this disorder. Genetics also play vital and link role to increase the risk, because it is a mental disorder.
- Emotional and Psychological issues. Emotional and psychological issues such as low self-esteem, anxiety disorder or mood disorder can contribute towards unhealthy eating disorder.
- Social and media pressure. Media contributes a lot towards bulimia nervosa disorders such as TV and fashion magazines frequently portrays the skinny models and actors and educate that their success and popularity is only due to their thinness.
- Sports, work or artistic pressures. Models, actors, athletes and dancers are at high risk of bulimia nervosa disorder.
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