Bulimia – Symptoms and prevention
Bulimia is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with bulimia regularly will stuff themselves with food, and then they feel guilty for the amount they consumed and try to get rid of the calories as fast as possible. After episodes of uncontrolled intake of large quantities of food, people with bulimia throw out food by forced vomiting or excessive use of laxatives and diuretics. Some people burn additional calories with extreme workout sessions.
People who are bulimia live in fear of weight gain and are preoccupied with thoughts of weight and calories. They feel like they have no control over what they eat and they often overeat until they feel pain in the stomach and have the urge to vomit. After overeating they feel guilt and shame or are depressed. They use excessive amounts of laxatives and diuretics or use supplements or teas for weight loss. Extreme exercise is another form for them to feel in control in their process of weight loss. Forced vomiting becomes regular after every meal. People who suffer from bulimia have sore throats due to frequent vomiting and suffer from abdominal pain and bloating.
2 How to tell if someone has bulimia
Most people with bulimia have normal body weight, and it is pretty hard to tell whether they have any health problem. You should be concerned if the person you suspect to be bulimic constantly talk negatively about their body and regularly complains about weight and shows fear of weight gain. If this person is close to you, keep an eye if they are visiting the bathroom after every meal. If they do run in the bathroom after they just ate, they will have bloodshot eyes and swollen cheeks. Their fingers will have scars or wounds caused by putting fingers deep in the oral cavity in order to provoke vomiting. You will notice that they work out regularly and are pretty harsh while doing so. There will be changes in the color and the quality of their teeth as a result of the forced and regular vomiting. Their hair will become thin and will fall off a lot. Besides the above symptoms and signs, people with bulimia often suffer from depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
As a result of decreased intake of nutrients in the body, people who suffer from bulimia are in real danger to complicate the normal functioning of every organ of the body. Loss of consciousness, dehydration, hemorrhoids, cold hands and feet due to poor circulation, disruption of the electrolyte level, kidney problems, hormonal disorders (delay of puberty, irregular menstrual cycles), rupture of the esophagus, reduction of bone density and Arrhythmias are just some of the possible complications that will happen to bulimic people.
4 Help them out
If a member of your family or a close friend suffers from bulimia, make sure to be there for them because they would need your help and support.
Offer your unconditional support. Before you talk to them, you should keep in mind that people who suffer from bulimia live with this secret and feel extremely embarrassed. If the person with bulimia decides to open up to you, show them that you really care.
5 Avoid tactics of threats, intimidation or accusation
Since this disease is associated with stress, low self-esteem and shame, negative approach will only worsen the condition. Therefore, try to help without judgment.
6 Set a good example
If you eat healthy, exercise regularly, practice healthy lifestyle, then the advice and assistance will be taken seriously by them. Show the person that they should take good care of their body and eat and workout normally.
7 Seek professional advice
Besides your help, professional medical help is required without a question. The longer the disease is present, the harder the body will return to normal. Therefore it is necessary to consult your doctor, who will give an accurate diagnosis, and appropriate treatment for bulimia and possibly other associated diseases.
8 Accept limitations
No matter how great your desire to help is (this may be your daughter or son we are talking about) they are the ones who need to want to be helped and cured. Patience and time are necessary when you are dealing with a bulimic person.