Bulimia is an eating disorder where an individual practices binge and purge eating habits. Bulimia is a serious disorder that can often lead to life-threatening consequences. People suffering from bulimia tend to eat hastily in a short span, which is known as binge and later makeup for overeating by engaging in self-induced vomiting, known as purge. This unhealthy pattern can lead to a series on health risks as it invokes an irregular diet cycle that can jolt the entire system in the body. Overeating itself is a concern as it overloads the intestines causing a poor metabolic effect on the body. Eating in excessive quantities is an alarming situation for the body that diverts most of the energy in digesting a pile of food. People
who regularly overeat are prone to sleepiness and laziness after a heavy meal i.e. due to the energy being diverted to process the food.
However, people who are suffering from bulimia do not quit after overeating. In order to reduce the guilt of eating in excess, bulimia patients would engage in purge i.e. self-induced vomit to unload the system. Vomiting is a natural process, but takes a toll on the body. When people vomit, they lose body fluids and become dehydrated. In addition, vomiting puts stress on the entire body that can result in weakness and fatigue. Engaging in such a practice voluntarily can cause irreparable damage to the brain as well as other vital organs. Purging can result in irregular heartbeat and can elevate the blood pressure. People suffering from bulimia may also take laxatives to manage the overeating habit. Laxatives drive the metabolism into a rush and prolonged usage can result to multiple health risks.Read More
What Causes Bulimia
Although there is no specific trigger for bulimia, in most cases it can be a result of depression, anxiety, psychological stress, poor eating habits, and as a side effect of intoxication. People diagnosed with bulimia have always had one or more of these conditions, which is why it is strongly linked to cognitive problems. People suffering from bulimia are known to inflict self-harm or have suicidal behavior, which is why they undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. Bulimia affects millions of people globally each year and it is more likely to occur in women than men. Even in women, younger women are most prone to the disease. Bulimia is less common in the developing countries compared to developed countries.
Symptoms of Bulimia
One of the first symptoms of bulimia is binge eating i.e. rapid eating in a short span, followed by purging self-induced vomit. Other symptoms of the disease are:
- Chronic Gastric Reflux
- Oral Trauma
- Swollen Salivary Glands
- Suicidal Tendencies
- Depression and Anxiety
- Low Self-Esteem
- Lack of Energy
Treatment for Bulimia
Since bulimia is a mental disorder, it is most commonly treated by cognitive behavioral therapy as the primary treatment. Further treatment involves prescribing the patient with tricyclic antidepressants or antidepressants of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). Patients suffering from bulimia have a greater mortality rate. The treatment for bulimia can take as much as up to 10 years to complete with only a 50% success ratio. People suffering from bulimia or undergoing symptoms associated with bulimia need to consult a physician and a psychologist for immediate and professional medical attention.