Bulimia Eating Disorder
The main characteristic of Bulimia is an extreme preoccupation with food and weight, causing out of control eating patterns, including Binge eating.
A deep sense of guilt and shame follows overeating. Bulimia sufferers will then indulge themselves in unhealthy and dangerous compensatory behaviors such as:
- Self-Induced Vomiting
- Misuse of Laxatives
- Misuse of Fluid Pills
- Misuse of Diet Pills
- Misuse of Enemas
- Intense periods of Exercise
- Strict dieting or fasting
Family members or friends may not notice anything wrong as people with Bulimia are usually within a normal weight range for their age, sex and height, combined with the fact that binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors are normally performed in secrecy, makes Bulimia symptoms very difficult to recognize.
People with Bulimia may also have a distorted body image, even if their body weight is normal.
The following are more noticeable signs that someone may be suffering from Bulimia:
- Avoidance of social situations involving food.
- Excessive Dieting or overeating
- Excessive or fluctuating exercise patterns.
- Faintness, dizziness or fatigue.
- Fear of becoming overweight.
- Regular trips to the bathroom after meals may be to regurgitate the food just eaten?
- Depression anxiety
- Psychological problems and distress.
- Some people exhibit many signs of an Eating Disorder, while others may exhibit only a few.
People with eating disorders may experience a range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure that may lead to death. The sooner an Eating Disorder is diagnosed and appropriate treatments begun, the better the outcomes are likely to be.
Eating Disorders can be highly complex, requiring a comprehensive treatment strategy that involves psychosocial interventions, nutritional counseling, medical care and monitoring, and perhaps even medication management. At the time of diagnosis, a doctor will need to determine whether a person health and general well-being are in serious danger and may recommend immediate hospitalization.
The primary aim in the treatment of Bulimia sufferers is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior. To achieve this, a range of treatment options may be required, such as nutritional rehabilitation, psychosocial intervention, and medication management.
In addition, establishing a regular pattern of non-binge meals, and improving eating attitudes, encouraging healthy but not excessive exercise, and resolving other relevant and co-occurring conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, are also essential components for the treatment of Bulimia sufferers.
A range of individual psychotherapies, such as cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy, group psychotherapy that uses a cognitive-behavioral approach, and family or marital therapy can also be effective in treating Bulimia.
It is estimated that 1.1% to 4.2% of females living in Western Society will suffer from some form of Bulimia in their life-time. Approximately 1/6th of Bulimia sufferers are male.
What causes Eating Disorders?
The causes of Eating Disorders can be highly complex, and include a range of factors, such as:
- Social / cultural factors
- Psychological factors
- Biological factors
- Family factors
- External or precipitating factors
It is very difficult to prevent eating disorders however ensuring that your family is emotionally and mentally prepared for the challenges of modern life is a good start towards prevention. You can do this by regularly discussing sensible nutritional habits with your family members and always ensure that they are only exposed to realistic body images.