What is Bulimia?

By: James Pendergraft


Bulimia may occur due to depression and stress. Or it may also be an after-effect of problems related with low self-esteem. If a person goes through a binge-eating spree, he tends to lose control. When that happens, he goes through a feeling of short-lived calmness. Bulimia is a repetitive process of purging and overeating. Over time, it becomes an obsession that is quite addicting.

Itís not easy to know for a fact whether or not a person suffers from bulimia. The act of binge eating and purging are usually done by the patient secretly. Most of the time, a bulimic person tends to deny her condition. Individuals suffering from this disorder usually consume up to 20,000 calories at a time.

Types of Bulimia

There are two known sub-types of bulimia. And these two sub-types have different characteristics. These are:

1.Purging type bulimics

People who suffer from this type of bulimia go through self-induced vomiting in order to remove the food that they have consumed. They usually take laxatives, diuretics, and enemas for quicker results.

1.Non-purging type bulimics

This type occurs in as low as 6% to 8% of the cases only. The person who suffers from this type of bulimia performs excessive exercises to offset the calories that he consumed in after eating. However, the purging type bulimics also exercise excessively as a second method of controlling their weight.

Bulimia nervosa often starts during oneís adolescence stages. Compared to anorexia, it is quite hard to know if an individual is bulimic or not. A bulimic person tends to be within or slightly above average of their ideal weight. It is possible for a person to have irregular eating habits and excessive exercising patterns without reaching the complete diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa.

The continuous phase of rapid and out-of-control eating can only be stopped if another person has interrupted or if the patientís stomach suddenly hurts. Pain occurs because of the overextension of the stomach, which is usually followed by self-induced vomiting or any other forms of purging. Purging and binge eating performed on a repeated manner can cause lots of problems to the digestive system.

Bulimia Treatment

Bulimia can be easily treated. Bulimia doesnít require hospitalization unless there are apparent physical complications. Bulimia is best treated during its early stages. Help patients by monitoring their behavior and making sure that they maintain a reasonable eating pattern. Encourage them to stay on treatment and keep their doctorís or therapistís appointments.

The medical treatment for bulimia normally involves counseling and behavioral therapy sessions. Bulimia may be an eating disorder but it is not just about food. It is more about a problem of self-esteem and self-perception. Therapists deal with what triggers the behavior rather than focusing on the behavior itself. Antidepressants are usually prescribed as an oral medication. Group therapies are also effective in treating bulimia, as patients get to share their experiences with people having the same problems.

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