Bulimia Nervosa

Sick Young Girl

Definition

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder defined by the compulsive binging and purging of food to feel in control of their intake. It can be observed by two simple features which include over-eating and removal of food from the system. People suffering from this eating order tend to take in a lot of food and followed by ridding themselves of that food through vomiting or other methods such as drinking laxative products or indulging into heavy workout sessions to maintain a decent body weight. People who suffer from this eating disorder usually eat too fast to consume more food in less time and tend to fill themselves exceeding their bearing capacity and later eradicate the excess food. Although people maintain their body weight, they tend to lose out on all the nutrients of the food and experience a decrease in potassium. Some other eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Increase in body weight
  • Obsession with food
  • Body weight fluctuation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Constipation
  • Dental erosion
  • Eating between the meals
  • Constant worry and fear of gaining weight
  • Refusal to acknowledge hunger
  • Stomach pain after meals
  • Social phobia while eating
  • Regular vomiting after meals
  • Developing a distorted body shape
  • Feeling the need of going to the restroom after or in between the meals

Causes and Risk Factors

There are no definite causes for Bulimia nervosa. Research has proven that hormones play a major role in this body disorder. Anomalous levels of serotonin is highly responsible for this eating disorder. It has also been pointed out that sex hormones have a great degree of influence on one’s appetite, which is why females tend to suffer from this disorder more than men. Nonetheless, complicated urge of emotional and biological eating habits are associated with greater risk for this disorder. These risk factors may include:

  • Body displeasure
  • Low self-confidence
  • Family history of eating disorders
  • Low inclination towards sports

People with Bulimia nervosa have been seen to dislike their own body figure and therefore they try to find simple ways to increase control over their excessive eating habits. This harmful craving for food can have lasting and eventually fatal health risks such as:

  • Problems with blood pressure and cardiac blood flow
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Obesity
  • Irregularity in menstrual cycle
  • Depression
  • Weak bones
  • Death

Treatment

Bulimia nervosa can occur at any age. Usually adolescents and people in their twenties are more vulnerable to this eating disorder. Timely counseling and treatment involves awareness about healthy eating habits and proper nutrition. Psychological treatment involves various experiments and programs that make a person mentally strong enough to not purge their food.

In case Bulimia Nervosa gets out of one’s control it should be treated in a rehabilitation center that specializes in eating disorders. Sometimes Fluoxetine (artificial trigger to the production of serotonin) can be used to control and cure this disorder. With the help of physicians and therapists, people will be able to overcome the compulsion to binge and purge food and will go back to a regular balanced diet and lifestyle.

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