Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by rituals of overeating followed by behavior that compensates for the food consumption, such as forced vomiting, excessive exercise, or abuse of laxatives or diuretics.
In comparison to anorexia, patients of bulimia maintain a generally healthy weight, and some are even overweight. The similarities lie in the mental processes of both patients, in that they both see themselves as overweight and are constantly unhappy with their appearance. The cycle of binge-eating to purging occurs in a variety of frequencies, from a few times a week to several times a day.
The many symptoms of bulimia are as follows:
● eating without control
● eating until point of discomfort or pain
● chronological inflammation of the throat, as well as soreness
● swollen salivary glands in the area of neck and jaw
● electrolyte imbalance (sodium, calcium, potassium, etc), which may lead to heart attack
● intestinal distress and irritation caused by abuse of laxatives
● acid reflux disorder
● worn tooth enamel, increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth caused by exposure to extremely strong stomach acid
● excessive exercising
● abnormal bowel functioning
● sores, scars, of calluses on the knuckles of hands
● menstrual irregularities or loss of menstruation (in women)
If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms, consult a trained medical professional. Even if you are afraid of looking like the bad guy in attempt of helping a loved one, in the end you will end up helping the person you care for.
There are many trained professionals who can help to resolve the sickness. The fundamentals of treatment include adequate nutrition, reducing excessive exercise, and stopping behaviors of purging. Psychotherapy is often beneficial as well, and often times medication.
However, specific treatments have not yet been developed. The needs of individuals may vary, but are usually one or a combination of:
● individual or group therapy
● nutritional counseling
● monitoring of activities
● care by medical professionals
Be empathetic and supportive to either yourself or someone you care about. There are options, and with proper time and treatment, there is a solution!
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For more information: National Eating Disorders