Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder that is very common in mature girls during early adulthood. A person suffering from this disorder tends to consume large quantities of food within a short time; later on they try to force this food out (purging). The effects may become severe especially when large amounts of carbohydrates are consumed. Although Bulimia is more common in young females, research has shown that it is strongly familial. Therefore any one is prone to it despite their gender or physical affiliations only that it is more widespread among the young females.
Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia
Depression and Low Self Esteem
A person suffering from bulimia suffers from a low self esteem which sometimes may culminate into depression. These feelings are mostly accompanied by anxiety, a feeling of low self worth and helplessness. In extreme cases, bulimia can be preceded by other psychological disorders such as drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and self mutilation.
Due to excessive purging, one usually suffers from mouth problems. Normally the stomach contains harsh digestive acids. Once the patient forces out what he had already consumed, these gases end up corroding the teeth. Consequently, the teeth become malformed and brittle. One may also suffer from mouth sores.
Bulimia can also cause one to become malnourished. This in turn leads to other related complications such as ulcers due to the excessive secretion of digestive acids in the stomach. Due to the lack of essential nutrients, the skin, the hair and the nails tend to appear brittle and fragile. In extreme cases a patient may start losing hair.
Bulimia can lead to dehydration. Dehydration has severe implications on one’s wellbeing and can lead to major complications such as dysmonorrhea. Palpitation and irregular heartbeats are also a common symptom that is associated with this eating disorder.
Severe cases of bulimia can lead to death. Other highly fatal symptoms may include diabetes, jaw arthritis, seizures and infertility.
Causes of Bulimia
A person can inherit the susceptibility to this disease through his or her genetic makeup. However, contrary to the widespread misconception, one cannot inherit this disorder by itself genetically. Often a bulimic’s family tree consists of people who tend to be addicted to nicotine, alcohol, compulsive shopping and gambling.
The kind of people that surround an individual’s life also can contribute to the disorder. The people around an individual normally influence his or her self esteem and beliefs. In susceptible individuals, different forms of abuse-drug abuse, verbal abuse and sexual abuse could trigger the bulimic symptoms.
These types of causes normally relate to the composition of one’s brain, the nervous system, the biochemistry and the hormonal system of the body. In case of anybody imbalances and malfunctioning, a person susceptible to an eating disorder could start exhibiting the related signs and symptoms.
People who find it hard to cope with stress are very prone to bulimia. Some people resort to abusing food as a way to forget their negative feelings and to detach themselves from the reality.
If you are suffering from bulimia, it is advisable to further assistance from a qualified nutritionist, an eating disorder specialist or a psychiatrist. Below are some compulsive treatment approaches.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This approach helps deal will the psychological causes of this disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses more on relieving one’s stress and raising his self esteem to a level that he or she regains his original self. This treatment is also tailored to help an individual practice more self control while eating. It also helps a person to focus more on the nutritional benefits of eating rather than just eating food to relieve stress.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
When combined with the cognitive therapy, this form of treatment helps the patient regain his or her self esteem. It also helps improve a person’s relationship with the rest of the society.
One of the main causes of bulimia is a sense of loneliness. Interpersonal therapy helps an individual to focus on engaging with other people. It focuses on the principle of ‘a problem shared is a problem half solved.
The common types of medications prescribed for this condition include: antidepressants; anti-convulsants and appetite suppressants.
Bulimia is a very serious disorder that can have profound effects on those who suffer from it. Knowing what to watch out for is key to getting early treatment for your loved ones. Abnormal attitudes towards food can spiral into something very dangerous. Being aware of the signs and symptoms can be crucial to keeping your family and friends safe. Always seek professional medical care when dealing with bulimia.