Bulimia is an eating disorder which causes the patient to lose control over how much they eat and binge, then try to compensate by purging or by over exercising. Bulimic patients usually have a healthy body weight.There are two types of bulimia, one in which the patient tries to compensate by vomiting or by using laxatives this is classified as purging type where as people who do not use laxatives or do not resort to purging or vomiting but exercise compulsively are known as non-purging type of bulimia.
Causes of Bulimia can range from a genetic disorder to a history of sexual abuse. A family history of having an obese parent may also give rise to bulimic tendencies.It is also more common in societies in which beauty is measured by the size of the body and dieting is common.
The Symptoms of Bulimia
The symptoms of Bulimia are:
- Eating a large amount of food in a short time span.
- Uncontrolled eating to the point of discomfort to the body.
- Compulsive use of fasting, self-inducing vomiting, using laxatives, enemas, diuretics diet pills, or too much of exercising to prevent weight gain
- Being over conscious about oneself and the body weight
- A cyclic behaviour of binging and purging that occurs at least twice a week for three months
- Secretive behaviour about food. This may include hiding food or going to the store secretly or even hiding and eating secretly.
- Eating a large amount of food with no visible signs of weight gain.
- Often disappearing to the bathroom after eating to vomit or purge.
Effects of Bulimia
The body starts showing signs of frequent purging. These include:-
- Increased pressure created in the eye area due to forced vomiting causes broken blood vessels in the eye leading to a bloodshot look.
- Frequent vomiting leads to exposure to stomach acids in the mouth that in turn results in discoloured teeth due to enamel erosion.
- The salivary glands enlarge, leading to puffy cheeks.
- The hands and knuckles are scarred or have calluses due to use of the fingers to induce vomiting.
Bulimia is treatable and the most effective treatment is counselling as the person with bulimic tendencies first needs to get rid of her depressive behaviour. Apart from this, cultivating a healthy eating pattern also helps patients of bulimia to strike a balance between their eating, thoughts and emotion by managing stress.
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