- by Dt Shail Yadav
- 1 Shares
- Dec 29 2017
BULIMIA NERVOSA: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT
Bulimia Nervosa is a psychological eating disorder characterised by the ingestion of abnormally large amount of food in a short period of time, followed by compensatory behaviours of purging in order to avoid gaining weight.
There are two most common forms of bulimia nervosa:
- Purging type – This is the most common form of bulimia where the individual will engage in repeated episodes of self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diuretics or enemas after a period of binge eating.
- Non-Purging type – Here, instead of bingeing followed by purging, one uses other methods to rid yourself of calories to prevent weight gain. The methods used in this type of bulimia are excessive fasting, exercising or strict dieting.
The exact cause of bulimia nervosa is not known and multiple factors contribute to the development of the eating disorder. Some of the main causes include:
- Stressful life changes
- History of abuse or trauma
- Negative body image
- Poor self-esteem
- Professions that require a certain body weight
- Genetic factors
The signs and symptoms of bulimia include:
- Being preoccupied with body weight and shape
- Excessive fear of gaining weight
- Eating a lot more food than in a normal meal
- Forcing oneself to vomit or exercise
- Misusing laxatives, diuretics and enemas
- Using dietary supplements for weight loss
- Frequent changes in weight
- Feeling bloated and constipated
- Fainting or dizziness
- Depression, irritability and anxiety
There are certain factors that puts you at a greater risk of developing an eating disorder.
- Girls are more likely to suffer from this eating disorder
- Bulimia often begins in late teens or early adulthood
- Genetic factors
- Psychological and emotional issues
Bulimia causes serious life threatening complications:
- Heart Problems
- Severe tooth decay and gum disease
- Irregular periods
- Digestive problems
- Misuse of alcohol and drugs
It is possible to recover from Bulimia Nervosa with the right treatment. More than medications, one needs therapy and a team approach involving the patient, family and the health care providers including a physician, therapist and dietician. Psychotherapy, stress management, resolving underlying emotional traumas, paired with other coping strategies will help resolve the issue. However, treatment will differ from patient to patient and there is no standard procedure.
Once the patient shows signs of recovery, they need to stick to their meal plan, eat a nutritious diet, identify the triggers and symptoms of bulimia and follow up with their doctor.
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