What is Bulimia?
Bulimia Nervosa is a type of eating disorder. The term “eating disorders” is used to describe a group of illnesses where a person has a distorted view of body image and extreme disturbances in eating behavior. Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating are all different types of eating disorders.
People experiencing bulimia go on regular eating “binges”. These binges involve consuming large amounts of food in relatively discrete periods of time and the accompanying feelings of being out of control of one’s food intake. The binge eating is usually followed by feelings of guilt and anxiety about becoming fat resulting in the desire and need to get rid of the food.
Common ways of getting rid of food may include:
- Excessive exercising to burn calories;
- Throwing up;
- Taking laxatives, diuretics or diet pills;
- Not eating for several days after the binge;
- Binging may be used as a way of coping with anger, depression, stress and sadness.
Some of the common signs of bulimia include:
- Eating unusually large amounts of food;
- Being secretive about what is eaten and when;
- Visiting the bathroom after eating;
- Over exercising;
- Being very self critical;
- Regularly tired/lacking energy;
- Sore throat;
- Decaying teeth.
If you are experiencing a number of these signs, it may be helpful to go and talk with someone you trust like a family member, teacher, counselor or local doctor. If you need help finding someone to talk to, check out thehttp://us.reachout.com/get-help”> Get Help section of ReachOut.
What causes bulimia
Like other eating disorders bulimia is a combination of physical and mental health difficulties and the cause is not clear. However, a number of factors may be associated with bulimia. These may include:
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse;
- Cultural emphasis on slimness;
- Preoccupation with body image ideals;
- Difficult or tension-filled relationships with friends or family;
- Loss and grief;
- Brain chemistry;
- Physiological and psychological effects of dieting;
- Stressful events;
- Difficulty with coping
Suggestions for help
The reasons that people experience bulimia may differ from person to person and the options for treatment may also differ depending on the situation and person. Your local doctor should be able to talk with you about what options are available and which may be best for you. If necessary your doctor can also refer you to a mental health professional and a nutritionist. These professionals will talk with you about your food and weight beliefs and behaviors. They may also explore the reasons why you may have developed these beliefs and behaviors. This can be done in a group situation or in a one on one situation. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor or therapist as to which is the best option for you.