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.
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
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 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
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.
with great risk of this type of eating disorder are those that diet
frequently and show extreme obsession with their body weight and shape.
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
- 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 organs that take the worst beating are: Endocrine glands, heart, Bones, kidney, skin, brain and the digestive system.
effects on the hear are as a result of constant electrolyte imbalances
continuous purging. The heart therefore gets weaker the longer the
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
A traumatic experience can trigger bulimia. Sexual ause, death
or any other live-changing event can trigger bulimia as a defense
- Social and cultural pressure
The fashion industy puts so much pressure on people especially females to lose their weight
Hormonal changes during puberty makes teens to believe that food is the only thing they have control over.
Research has shown that people with close relatives suffering from eating disorder are more likely to suffer from the same.
Bulimia Recovery Tips
1. Be honest and true to yourself
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
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
Focusing on the positives breaks the destructive cycle and one avoids the guilt that comes after binging.
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.