Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder which can become serious and life threatening if symptoms become worse. The affected people will involve in binge eating and then purge by forcing vomiting to lose extra calories.
Basically There Are Two Types Of Bulimia Nervosa
One is purging type in which the affected person will force vomiting or use laxatives or enemas. Second one is non-purging type in which the individual will go on fasting or strict dieting or do strenuous exercises to lose calories. People with bulimia nervosa will be preoccupied with their body weight and shape. This is not an eating disorder alone but is a serious emotional problem relating to self image. It is difficult to treat this disorder since the affected person may not accept that he/she is sick. Eating lots of food gives them a comfortable feeling and hence they always involve in binge eating. After eating they will feel guilty and have fear of gaining weight and that is the reason they purge.
Bulimia Nervosa Symptoms
Some of the common signs of bulimia nervosa are :-
- Preoccupied thoughts of gaining weight and self image
- Eating until one gets discomfort feeling
- Forcing vomit or indulge in strenuous exercises for losing weight
- Often use laxatives or diuretics or enemas after binge eating
- Always worried about body shape and gaining weight
If you have any of these symptoms seek medical help at the earliest since it becomes difficult to treat when the symptoms get worsen.
The Following Are Some Of The Warning Signals You Can Observe In Someone With Bulimia Nervosa
- Talking constantly about being fat or having poor self image
- Eating unusually heavy foods that are rich in fat
- Visiting bathroom right after eating to purge
- Having sores or scars on his hands
- Doing strenuous exercises for losing weight
- It is difficult to identify a person with this disorder since they will remain in normal weight and normal shape. Only through the behavior and eating habits you can detect their problem.
Exact cause of bulimia nervosa is unknown. It can be due to genetics, environmental and social pressure.
Who Are At Risk ?
Girls are more likely to develop this problem than boys. It begins in teenage or early adulthood. Individuals with peer pressure, those working in media and public figures have risk for developing this problem. Persons with psychological problems like low self esteem, anxiety/depression disorders can get this disorder. Athletes and gymnasts will have serious pressure from their coach for losing weight and to maintain right weight which may indulge them in poor eating.
Bulimia Nervosa Diagnoses
Your doctor will complete physical examination and collect your medical history, your behavior and emotional problems from your relatives and friends. He may order for blood test, urine test, chest X-ray and ECG for testing heart function.
The diagnoses can become accurate only if the affected person engages in binge eating and purging at least two times in a week. He/she should be more concerned about the looks and body shape. Since right diagnoses cannot be made unless the affected person actually reveals it, often bulimia nervosa gets identified only in severe forms of symptoms.
Bulimia Nervosa Treatment
Treatment should be in the form of combined approach of psychotherapy and medications given for curing depression. Apart from the affected person, his/her family, friends and a counselor will together be involved in treating bulimia nervosa. Some of the psychotherapy methods used largely is cognitive behavior approach, interpersonal psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and family therapy.
In case any teenaged person in your family is affected with this disorder then the entire family should cooperate to develop healthy eating pattern. The affected person will be taught about the importance of healthy diet and nutrition education. This will help him to cultivate healthy weight through normal eating habits. For people with binge eating habit, medical programs are available for losing weight and controlling the urge to eat more. There is every chance for relapse of symptoms when the person is under stress. Hence you should be in constant touch with your GP for monitoring your weight regularly.
Some people resort to massage and chiropractic healing to reduce anxiety related eating disorders. It is necessary to follow healthy diet, and develop positive attitude towards life by boosting your self esteem.
Bulimia Nervosa Prevention
You cannot prevent bulimia nervosa but you can cultivate healthy eating habit in your children. Get help from your pediatrician since they can sense the problems of your children in early stage.