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All About Bulimia

Aug 17, 2007
One of the most prevalent eating disorders within our society today is bulimia. It's a disease that is often thought of as being merely a physical manifestation. Few realize that bulimia is actually a mental condition which causes the sufferer to regurgitate their food. In this article, we'll be discussing bulimia, in order to inform you of the causes, the symptoms, and the possible methods of treatment.

Bulimia is also known as bulimia nervosa. It's much different than anorexia nervosa, which is another common eating disorder. With anorexia nervosa, individuals decrease the amount of food that they eat and may over-exercise or use laxatives in order to get their body as thin as possible. Bulimics are also concerned with getting their body weight as low as possible, but they often over-indulge in eating food before 'purging' it.

Those with bulimia may gorge themselves with heavy amounts of food, with some bulimics consuming as much as twenty thousand calories in a meal. This is known as the 'binging' phase of bulimia, which is quickly followed by a purging phase. Individuals with bulimia 'purge' their body of the nutrition that the foods that they eat supply them with by a variety of methods, most commonly through inducing vomiting. Other methods of purging include the use of laxatives or diuretics, and even enemas to remove food from the body.

Bulimia is caused by a poor self-image. Those with bulimia are never satisfied with the appearance of their body. Even when they are at a very low body weight, they may continue to try to lose weight, damaging their body within the process. Those that express high levels of concern when it comes to the appearance of their body and low self esteem, with a constant fear of being seen as fat, are most often afflicted with the disease.

Some individuals exhibit no symptoms or signs of the disorder, but one method of identifying symptoms includes eating with the individual and noting if they go to the bathroom immediately afterwards. Long-term bulimics may exhibit a dental problems such as tooth decay due to stomach acids eroding the enamel of the teeth, or problems with the throat. The glands of the neck and the face may appear to be swollen and a general sense of weakness may be present.

Bulimia is prevalent within society, with a full ten percent of college-aged girls affected by the disorder.

While weight loss may occur with bulimics, the damage that this illness does to the body is drastic and often irreversible. Dehydration is a common side-effect, and the dental health of an individual is often drastically altered. Stomach ulcers may develop, and after an extended period of time, an irregular heartbeat may occur. Bulimics also face an increased occurrence of suicidal behavior. If you know an individual that you suspect may be suffering from the disease, confront them with love and compassion. Expect to be rejected, but suggest that they speak to a counselor or a doctor about the problem to see what they can do about overcoming it.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Eating Disorders.
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