What is it?
Bulimia nervosa, commonly called bulimia, is one of the eating disorders. It is a psychological condition characterized by bouts of gross overeating usually followed by self-induced vomiting. The episodes of binge eating is followed by inappropriate effort to prevent weight gain.
The sufferers use two techniques to prevent weight gain according to DSM-IV-TR. Namely;
Purging type : Includes vomiting or using diuretics, laxatives, or enemas.
– Nonpurging type: Involves other behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as fasting or excessive exercise.
What causes it?
Bulimia is often variant of anorexia nervosa. In both disorders, the sufferer has a morbid fear of fatness. After months or years of eating sparsely, the sufferers may develop a constant caving for food and begin to binge, but the fear of becoming overweight remains and prompts self-induced vomiting.
What are the symptoms?
° People with bulimia may be of normal weight or only slightly underweight, although some are extremely thin.
° Bingeing and vomiting may occur once a day.
° Excessive vomiting may lead to dehydration and potassium loss, causing weakness and cramps.
° Sometimes suicidal thoughts
° Looking sick
° Irregular menstruation
How can it be treated?
The sufferer must be persuaded to accept treatment. Which include;
– Supervision and regulation of eating habits
– Psychotherapy or the use of antidepressants
MEDICAL EFFECTS OF BULIMIA
Bulimia can lead to significant changes and medical problems. Such as;
• Chronic vomiting
• Swelling of the parotid and salivary glands
• Dental enamel erosion, making teeth more vulnerable to cavities.
• People who use laxatives regularly can have loss of intestinal functioning
• Abdominal bloating and discomfort
• Irregular menstruation.
Other facts of bulimia nervosa
√ Bulimia usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood
√ Approximately 75-90% of people with bulimia nervosa are females
√ Bulimia is twice as prevalent as anorexia
√ About 30% of those with bulimia will also develop substance abuse at some point in their life.
– Robin S. Rosenberg and Stephen M. Kosslyn (Abnormal Psychology)