What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is a medical term for gorging, a binge-purge eating disorder. Closely intertwined with anorexia nervosa, in that anorexics can easily slip into bulimic patterns and visa versa. Bulimia has also now reached epidemic proportions.
How Does Bulimia Start?
Bulimia usually starts with an overweight problem, as a seemingly easy solution to the dilemma of eating all the goodies one wants without suffering the consequences. Its victims do tend to be females, but this disorder cuts across all social and economic classes. Food preoccupies the bulimics’ thoughts very much like an addiction.
Much like an addiction, once the binge-purge cycle has begun, it becomes habit-forming to the point of obsession. Interestingly, recent research is beginning to demonstrate a correlation between bulimia and alcoholism – eating to excess, vomiting to purge, then drinking to forget.
Reports indicate about 60% of those who have previously lost moderate-to-large amounts of weight and/or strayed, eventually binge or purge, to avoid weight gain. Such people ultimately feel controlled by the “circular” situation of guilt and anxiety that develops and leads to a vicious cycle of binging and purging.
Signs of Bulimia
Excessive use of laxatives or diuretics replaces vomiting in many cases. In addition to possible physical damage, feelings of guilt, shame and the disruption of the family causes many victims to express a sense of hopelessness.
Bulimia can become life-threatening as the body is robbed of essential food nutrients and the sufferers’ continual purge, sometimes vomiting 20 times a day, produces the stresses that cause hiatal hernias.
Increasing evidence proves that bulimia can occur in the rich or poor, from early teens to old age, in urban or rural areas, and that it may strike in varying degrees of intensity.
How to Treat Bulimia
Due to the exceptional demands of bulimia, it must be treated as a battle to be fought one day at a time. Treatment seems to be most effective when the professional assumes both a nurturing as well as an authority figure role. The demonstration of concern and caring seems fundamental to the bulimic’s recovery of self-worth that is essential to a full cure.
Fight bulimia by calling us at Advance Center for Eating Control. Call for a free consultation on Wednesday and Thursday between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm.