Do you often find yourself in an eating binge? We all experience episodes like this at one point in our lives, when we just can’t stop eating. But if you find yourself trying to vomit after a binging session, then chances are you have an eating disorder called bulimia. It is basically an endless binge and purge cycle that when left untreated can cause serious long-term complications. The bottom line is that you need to understand what bulimia is, its symptoms and the options in curing it.
Eating disorders don’t have an exact or definite cause. Most of the time, these disorders are a result of multiple causes. Bulimia, for instance, can be due to stress. People who are dealing with stressful events like divorce, loss of a loved one or moving to a new location are prone to eating a lot and developing bulimia. If you are the type of person who has an insatiable desire to be perfect, then chances are you’ll be bulimic. Individuals who belong to a family of obese people may also acquire this condition in the long run. Bulimia is common among teenagers and women, although adults and men may experience it as well.
Don’t confuse bulimia with anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder that is characterized by people eating so little that they become so thin. People battling bulimia are not extremely thin. They just eat a lot of food in a short time, often in one sitting. During meals, they can’t control the urge to eat.
After an eating spree, people afflicted with bulimia will realize that they ate too much. They will then do everything in their power to purge or lose pounds. They may resort to excessive exercise even if they don’t feel well and the use of water pills. Some people with bulimia also bite the back of their hands in hopes of making themselves vomit after eating too many foods.
If you are bulimic and you don’t take steps to correct this disorder, then you are risking yourself to long-term health problems. For example, the acid that is generated by vomiting and stays in the mouth can cause your teeth to decay. You may also be at risk of gum disease. Purging can result to osteoporosis, kidney damage, heart ailments and worst, death.
Sheer will power alone cannot treat bulimia. Treatment often involves a combination of psychological help and medicines like Prozac, an antidepressant. Prozac increases the activity of certain chemicals in the brain to treat mental health problems like depression, anxiety and bulimia. During the first few days of using Prozac, patients may entertain suicidal thoughts. But these thoughts will eventually subside as the drug starts to work.
Psychological help is an important part of bulimia treatment. By talking to a counselor, someone with bulimia will improve his or her confidence and learn to eat normally again. Some mental health problems like depression are also associated with bulimia, thus the need for psychological help. Treatment of bulimia can take a long time, so the sooner it is started the greater chances it will be cured.