What does bulimia really means? We have often heard this mentioned on the radio and even watched it discussed on TV. But what really is bulimia and why is it said to be dangerous?
Bulimia or bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder wherein a person tends to eat excessively (binging) and force herself to vomit (purging) after she feels guilty.
Types of Bulimia
There are two kinds of bulimia. The first type of bulimia is the purging type. In this kind of bulimia, a person forces herself to throw up everything that she eats either by inserting a gag or taking syrups such as laxative or diuretics.
The other type of bulimia is the non-purging type. This kind of bulimia is commonly practiced by young women. In this kind of bulimia, women refuse to eat for a day or two, also known as fasting, to compensate the amount of calorie they had taken after an excessive eating.
Causes of Bulimia
No definite study or research had yet come to a concrete conclusion on what really causes bulimia. However the following are some factors on why people are suffering bulimia:
- Feeling of self-worthlessness
- Psychological reasons like depression
- Suffering from medical conditions
- Influence on what they see on TV
- Hormonal imbalance
Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia
Most people commonly do not know that they are already having an eating disorder not until a professional intervention will come. However the following are some manifestations that one may be having bulimia:
- Irregular excessive eating. This can be manifested when one person has been eating with an interval of only two hours. In most of these eating, she or he would often consume great amount of food than normal person would intake.
- Irregular craving for food. When someone cannot control herself or himself from eating food.
- Self-induced injury. After eating excessively, a person is having bulimia if she will inflict injury to herself such forcing her to vomit by taking laxative.
- Regular occurrence. Both irregular excessive eating and the immediate self-induced injury must occur in every two weeks for three months.
- Self-dissatisfaction. People who are having bulimia will often complain about their look, weight, or image.
Effects of Bulimia
People who are bulimic will usually have the following effects in the long run:
- Oral trauma
- Increased sensitivity of the teeth to hot and cold
- Soreness on salivary glands
- Ruptures of colon
- Irregular monthly period
- Irregular bowel movements
- Psychological effects
It is no doubt that bulimia is one deadly disease that if not addressed properly could lead to one’s death. If a person is suffering from bulimia, it is a must that she be brought to a medical professional for treatment. The patient may undergo pharmacological treatment, psychotherapy, or hypotherapy.