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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Eating Disorders >>  Bulimia


Bulimia nervosa is one of the eating disorders affecting the adolescents. A cyclic process of bingeing followed by purging is a common symptom. Excessive intake is compensated by purging. This process is repeated on a weekly or daily basis. This is especially done to prevent weight gain.
It is a psychological condition involving lack of control. Problems and issues of life are concealed by this improper eating disorder. Extreme concern about body image and weight, depression, anxiety and others are the common causes.

Purging involves laxative misuse, vomiting, excessive exercise, use of diuretics or enemas and medication abuse for weight loss. It stimulates some chemicals that aid in keeping the individual in high spirits. Dehydration and imbalance in electrolyte levels are common in bulimics. Bulimia is derived from a Latin word meaning ‘ravenous hunger’. Research reveals the correlation between low estrogen levels, high testosterone levels and bulimia. It is a devastating, life threatening disorder, being an offspring of low self esteem. They hoard the food and eat at a period, when stressed or worried.

Bulimics keep away from the society and refrain from eating in public. They are either normal, under weight or over weight. Rarely, the binge eating process is absent. Some bulimics are the purging type and the others are the non-purging type. The former kind of individuals practices usage of diuretics, tapeworms and enema. Laxatives for weight loss are also a method to reduce body weight. A combination of these methods is also possible. The second category is not a widespread type to reduce weight gain. Fasting and excessive exercising are typical features, following a binge.

Bulimics suffer from a pessimistic attitude, resulting in a negative body image. It results in voice damage, low serum sodium, malnutrition, dental cavities, ulcer, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance. Swelling of the salivary gland is seen. Esophageal disruption is seen, resulting in inflammation. Muscle atrophy and face and cheek swelling occurs. Contradictory studies reveal the role of a chemical synthesized by the brain, in bulimia. Suicidal intentions arise, as a result of depression.
As this disease goes unnoticeable, intervention occurs at a later phase. Hospitalization is essential in most cases. The causative factor is identified for easy and effective treatment.  Recurrence after discharge is possible. Psychiatric counseling proves beneficial. Cognitive behavioral therapy or psychotherapy forms the base of treatment. Bulimia in schizophrenics worsens the situation, as they perceive concepts in a completely different manner. Anti-psychotics and anti-depressants are used, as a form of therapy.
Submitted on January 16, 2014