Bulimia – symptoms, signs, complications, and tips
Bulimia is a serious, potentially life-threatening diet disorder. People with bulimia regularly overeat, which then by an unhealthy way are trying to get rid of calories in order to avoid weight gain.
After episodes of uncontrolled intake of large quantities of food, people with bulimia threw out food by forced vomiting or excessive use of laxatives and diuretics.
Some people also try to burn the additional calories with the use of extreme exercises.
Bulimia is often accompanied by depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.
Adolescents are most affected age group. In fact, in about 75% of people who suffer from bulimia, the disease manifested before their 22 years of age, usually around 15 to 16 years period. Women often end up in the clutches of bulimia more than men.
Symptoms and Warning Signs
How to tell if you are suffering from bulimia?
– You live in fear of weight gain and feel preoccupied with weight and calories;
– You get feel of no control over eating and get overeat;
– Continuously eat until you feel pain in the stomach or urge to vomit;
– After overeating you feel guilt and shame or get depressed;
– Excessive use of laxatives and diuretics;
– Excessive use of supplements or teas for weight loss;
– Extreme exercise;
– You force vomiting;
– You get sick and sore throat due to the frequent vomiting;
– You suffer from abdominal pain and bloating.
How to recognize a person who suffers from bulimia?
Because most people with bulimia are with normal body weight, even in some cases and overweight, it is still hard to see if they have a health problem.
You should be concerned if the person:
– Constantly talk negatively about their body appearance;
– Regularly complaints about weight and shows fear of weight gain;
– They go to the toilet after every meal;
– After paying a visit to the toilet, they have bloodshot eyes and swollen cheek;
– They have scars or wounds on their fingers, caused by putting them deep in the oral cavity in order to provoke vomiting;
– They practice excessive and forced exercise;
– They have impairment of color and quality of the teeth as a result of the forced vomiting;
– They have rare and thin hair.
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, in people who suffer from bulimia, a real danger exist for every organ of the body to get affected.
Usually, the following complications may occur:
– Loss of consciousness;
– Cold hands and feet due to poor circulation;
– Electrolyte level disruption;
– Kidney problems;
– Hormonal disorders (delay of puberty, irregular menstrual cycle, anovulation, etc.);
– Growth retardation;
– Rupture of the esophagus;
– Reduction of the bone structure density;
How to help the person with bulimia?
If a member of your family or a close friend suffers from bulimia, the following tips may steer you for trying to help them:
Offer your unconditional support. Before you call, you should keep in mind that the person suffers from bulimia was living with this secret which certainly made him felt extremely embarrassed. If he/she decide to open up, than show that you really care and offer them your unconditional support.
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 them without judging them.
Set a good example. If you eat healthy, exercise regularly, practice healthy lifestyle, then the weight of the advice and assistance you offer will be greater and you will be taken more seriously.
Seek professional advice. Besides yours, it is also required and professional medical help.
The longer the disease is present, the harder the body can return to normal. Therefore it is quite necessary a consultation with a doctor, who besides that will prescribe accurate diagnosis, it will also give appropriate treatment for the bulimia and possibly other associated diseases.
Accept the limitations. No matter how great is your desire to help, the primary decision depends from the person suffering from bulimia and only he or she can get out of the clutches of this serious disease.
Stay healthy and aware.