Bulimia Recovery Tips

Bulimia Recovery Tips

 For us to embark on a bulimia recovery journey, we need to answer the question, what is bulimia? In the past, binging and purging was a way of showing wealth. In medieval times, there are reports of people consuming large amounts of food in times of plenty. Indeed, the more one consumed, the richer one appeared. They would then vomit the food to make room for more food. Therefore, binging and purging was related to showing off wealth.

This has however changed over time and is now done as a result of the preoccupation with being thin. Bulimia nervosa can be termed as a waiting disorder characterized by traits such as binging and then purging. Bulimics also exercise excessively and abuse laxatives to assist in the purging of the consumed food.

The first reported case of bulimia was in the early Nineteenth century where Ellen West, a patient of Swiss doctor Ludwig Binswanger, abused laxatives. She also binged and purged food as a way of achieving her goal of being thin. In this article, you'll learn what Bulimia Nervosa is, bulimia symptoms, causes of bulimia, common bulimia myths as well as bulimia recovery tips to help you deal with bulimia more easily.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized  by constant eating and then getting rid of the food. The eating is usually triggered by the feeling of emptyness making one to eat anything they can place their hand on. The feeling of quilt that  follows and the bloatedness makes one sso ashamed that they resort to inhumane ways of getting rid of the food like taking laxatives, exercising excessively as well as inducing vomiting.

Just like people suffering from other types of eating disorders, bulimia nervosa sufferers are very secretive. They are normally embarrassed of themselves and even hate themselves. They therefore prefer living with the condition secretively. They also suffer from extreme low self esteem.

People with great risk of this type of eating disorder are those that diet frequently and show extreme obsession with their body weight and shape.

Bulimia nervosa is a mental disease dealing with self-image and is therefore hard to overcome.

A lot of support and compassion is required along the road towards bulimia recovery.

Common Symptoms of Bulimia

To know whether you suffer from this eating disorder, you need to know the symptoms of bulimia. Below are some of the well known bulimia symptoms:
  • Obsession with body weight and shape
  • The feeling of guilt after eating
  • Dieting and food dominating one's life
  • Taking diet pills and laxatives to control ones weight
  • Missing or irregular menstrual periods
  • Laxative abuse resulting to constipation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Weight gain
  • Hand and feet swelling
  • Abdomen pain
  • Tooth decay
  • Sour throat and mouth sores
Given that the effects of bulimia are very dangerous, it is good to seek help immediately if you experience the symptoms above.

Short-term and Long-term Effects of Bulimia 

The effects of bulimia are not specific to just one organ. It is therefore necessary to get help as soon as one can.

The organs that take the worst beating are:  Endocrine glands, heart,  Bones, kidney,  skin, brain and the digestive system.

The effects on the hear are as a result of constant electrolyte imbalances caused by continuous purging. The heart therefore gets weaker the longer the bulimia continues.  This can finally lead to heart block and eventually death. Heart block occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly as a result of low potassium levels as well as other minerals from constant  vomiting and laxatives abuse.

The kidney is another organ that suffers the harsh effects of bulimia. Kidneys are tasked with correcting the body's mineral abnormalities.In bulimic cases however, the constant disturbing of the mineral balance puts a lot of strain on the kidneys as it tries to correct the imbalance and they eventually get damaged.

Bulimia also affects the brain by increasing anxiety and depression. Bulimic people start experiencing distorted thought patterns.  Impulsive behavior is another effect of bulimia and so is suicidal thoughts and self-harm symptoms. It also makes one to be less and less responsible of their actions.

Delays in emptying the stomach affects the digestive system. This makes it prone to such conditions as acid reflux, esophageal problems, bloating as well as stomach ulcers.

In long-term bulimic sufferers, the feeling of being full or hungry can be lost. The taste can also get distorted making one to start eating strange  things like really sour foods.

Bones are also affected by bulimia. This is caused by the low bone density as a result of vomiting out the important nutrients.The bones sufferers therefore experience a lot of pain and their bones break easily. from minimal pressure or strain.

Skin also looses its supple, youthful look at a young age. Dry skin, ongoing pimples, inflammation of the skin, and abnormal irritation become common problems for the bulimics.

Protein depletion causes hair loss in long term bulimia.

Muscle tone is also lost and people age quickly for the endocrine glands stop working properly producing fewer hormones than the normal amount required by the body.

Menstruation may also become irregular or even stop.

That being said, it is quite clear that the effects of bulimia are very dangerous and get worse the longer a person suffers from bulimia. It is therefore absolutely necessary to know the treatment of bulimia.

Bulimia Weight Loss Myths

 There are several myths surrounding bulimia nervosa. But like you'll read below, this is not usually the case:

1.Thinking that dieting is the answer

Bulimics and binge eaters often think that dieting is the answer to their weight loss quest. The truth is, it is not. As a matter of fact, many researches have shown that the failure rate for diets is 90%.  The diet industry exploits this well know fact making billions at the expense of the sufferers. And since the diets don't work, the promoters are sure that the customers will keep coming back for more. This is good for repeat business.

 Instead of dieting, dealing with the cause has been known to be more effective in the fight against bulimia. Hypnotherapeutic methods address the core root of the problem and have a high success rate.

2. Thinking that everything will improve on its own. 

The fact of the matter is, things don't improve on their own.

Bulimia is a habit and we all know how hard it is to break a habit. It is also more in the mind and such issues are the hardest to deal with. Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step to recovering. The next step is changing your relationship with food and this needs one to change their beliefs and how they see themselves. The feeling of worthlessness and not being I control of the food need to go to enable one break free from habitual binging and purging.

Causes of Bulimia

 In the past, what is today known as bulimia was mostly as a result of the rich showing off. In times of plenty, the haves would eat as much food as their stomachs would allow and the purge it out to leave room for more food.

In the recent past however, bulimic people are known to consume food rapidly and then self induce vomiting to remove the food so as to remain thin or lose the weight that they believe they have in excess. Some factors that are known to contribute to the disorder include:

  • Low self esteem
Most people with bulimia have low opinions of themselves and believe that losing weight will give them self-worth.
  • Stress and Depression
Mental illnesses such as depression play a big role in the development of bulimia. Binging becomes a way of dealing with the unhappiness. they are simply crying out for help.
  • Stress
A traumatic experience can trigger bulimia. Sexual ause, death or any other live-changing event can trigger bulimia as a defense mechanism.
  • Social and cultural pressure
The fashion industy puts so much pressure on people especially females to lose their weight
  • Puberty
Hormonal changes during puberty makes teens to believe that food is the only thing they have control over.
  • Genetics
Research has shown that people with close relatives suffering from eating disorder are more likely to suffer from the same.

 Bulimia Recovery Tips

 To break from the torture of bulimia, there are simple tips that can help you.

1. Be honest and true to yourself

 Bulimics are triggered to eat when they are upset, stressed or even tired. To them, any myriad of emotions triggers the unconscious eating. This includes happiness. Instead of connecting with the actual emotional reasons for their states, they binge as a way of escaping from all of it.

Getting in touch with and learning to interpret the true meaning of one's feelings can put to an end the destructive cycle. It enables one to handle stress more effectively and helps avoid aimless binging.

Focusing on the positives breaks the destructive cycle and one avoids the guilt that comes after binging.

2. Postponing

 The good thing about urges is that they only last for three minutes at most. Understanding this will help one control the eating urges by simply postponing the eating and the feeling will go. It might seem to last for long and may seem unbearable but it gets better with time.