Does food dominate your life? Now, are you afraid that when you start eating, you’re not able to stop? Well, maybe you are experiencing Bulimia.
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is an eating disorder that is characterized by frequent binge eating, and then afterwards frantic efforts to avoid gaining weight. Now, if you are struggling with this kind of disorder, you are certainly battling between the desire to stay thin or lose weight and the overwhelming compulsions to binge eat.
There are two sub-types of bulimia nervosa:
Purging type bulimics – this kind of bulimia is a self-induce vomiting. What a certain person does is that triggering the gag reflex in order to remove food from the body before it can be digested.
Non-purging type bulimics – now, in this case a person exercises after a binge to offset the entire caloric intake after eating.
It is very important to bear in mind that the more strict the diet, certainly the more likely it is that you’ll become preoccupied with food. Now, it is a fact that when you starve yourself, you are craving, your body is asking for the needed nutrition. As deprivation of food has build, the more compulsion to east becomes powerful. A dietary rule then is broken. Binge and purge are a team. When you eat an ice cream, you will have a guilt feeling at the back of your mind, and then you are going to purge it (throwing the foods or using laxatives). If you think that purging prevents you from gaining your weight, well you have to think again. This isn’t effective at getting rid of calories intake, this is the reason why a lot of people are suffering bulimia and then end up gaining more weight. As you can see, vomiting all the foods which you have taken will eliminate only 50% or less. This is simply because, the absorption begins you put food in your mouth. If you think using laxatives can get rid of the calorie intake, well think again because it only gets rid of 10%.
Bulimia causes and risk factors
Low self esteem and concerns regarding your weight play a major role. People who are suffering with eating disorders have trouble managing emotions in a healthy way. This kind of disorder is an emotional issue. So, here are some of the causes as well as the risk factors.
Low self-esteem – people who think of themselves as useless and unattractive are at risk.
Poor body image – a lot of women wanted to have a skinny body because some look it as sexy.
Major life changes – this disorder is triggered by stressful changes, such as the physical changes of puberty, or the breakup of a relationship.
Appearance – if you face tremendous image pressure obviously you are vulnerable to developing bulimia.
Signs and symptoms of bulimia
If you are living with bulimia, binging and purging habits are present. Well, it is normal to feel ashamed about having a hard time in controlling yourself with food.
Binge eating signs and symptoms
Over eating – you can’t stop from eating. You are going to eat until the point of discomfort and pain.
Secrecy surrounding eating – you are going to the kitchen secretly after all the members of the family have gone to bed. You wanted to eat in private, and going out alone on food runs.
Eating unusually large amounts of food – you are eating large amount of foods but there is no change in weight.
Disappearance of food – all of the empty wrappers are in the garbage.
Overeating and fasting alternate – all or nothing when you eat foods.
Purging signs and symptoms
Throwing foods after meals (going to the bathroom) –you take a trip to the bathroom to throw up. A person will run the water in order for her/him to disguise sounds of vomiting.
Using laxatives or enemas after eating – even if you are using these kinds of methods, still the food you intake will not be removed 100%.
Excessive exercising – there is no use of excessively workout if you will eat food more than your body requires.
Physical signs and symptoms of bulimia
If you are experiencing bulimia, you may have calluses or scars on the knuckles or even on your hands from sticking fingers down the throat. Aside from that, you may have puffy cheeks. You may also have discolored teeth from exposure to stomach acid when throwing up. And, you may have frequent fluctuations in weight. Your weight may fluctuate by 10 lbs or more.
You have to keep in mind that regardless of how long you’ve struggled with this kind of disorder, you can learn to develop a healthier attitude towards food, and break the binge and purge cycle. It is a fact that taking steps toward recovery is tough, but if you are thinking of getting help for bulimia, then a BIG CLAP FOR YOU as you are taking a big step forward.
Steps to help bulimia patients
Acceptance – you have to admit you have a problem. This is the first step that you need to practice. You have to accept that your relationship to food is uncontrollable.
Talk to someone – I know how hard it is to talk to someone what you are going through. It is normal to human to feel ashamed, and afraid of what others may think. But, the good thing is that, to even think that you are not alone. All you have to do is to look for someone who is a good listener, and who will support you for you to get better. You have to stay away from people or places that can trigger the temptation for binge and purge habits. Make sure to be careful when it comes to meal planning.
Seek professional help – if you think you are hopeless, you need to talk to a professional. Talk to a professional who can help you regain your health, advice you to eat normally again, and most importantly, who will be there to help you to develop healthier attitudes regarding food intake.
Stop dieting – when you stop to restrict your calories intake, and follow your dietary rules, you can assure that you will not be overwhelmed with cravings of foods. You have to eat normally, and then you can break the binge-and-purge cycle.
Cognitive Behavioral therapy – this will target the unhealthy eating behaviors of bulimia. Expect that when you choose this kind of therapy, you can break the binge-and-purge cycle. You are going to learn in monitoring your eating habits, eat regularly to reduce food cravings, and healthy lifestyle. Aside from that, with this kind of treatment, there will be a big change to your unhealthy thoughts and patterns. Lastly, you will be solved through your emotional issues.
If you find that your loved one or that your friend has bulimia, make sure to talk to them about your concerns. But, you have to keep in mind that you cannot force a certain person to change right away, and you can’t do the work of recovery for them. What you can do is to offer your support, encouragement and compassion throughout the treatment.