What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Just about everyone turns to food at some point in their lives – whether it’s to curb boredom, the eliminate stress or to mask feelings of loneliness. Unfortunately, for some, overeating is a compulsion that doesn’t just occur once in a while—it affects every aspect of the individual’s life causing undue stress and struggles with emotions. Many sufferers don’t stop with the urge to eat, they eat so much they feel terrible about it and then purge the food out in an effort to make good on their mistake. This becomes a vicious cycle known as bulimia.
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is an eating disorder that can be characterized by periods of binging on food and then purging in an effort to prevent weight gain. Men and women are both affected by this eating disorder.
People who suffer from bulimia nervosa will eat excessively large quantities of food, often consuming 4K to 5K calories in a very short period of time. The resulting shame that comes after a binge leads to feelings of anxiety and panic that cause the individual to focus heavily on purging the food—he or she may exercise excessively, force himself to vomit or take excessive amounts of ex-lax or other laxatives to help promote the release of the food.
Recognizing Bulimia Nervosa Signs
If you think you might be bulimic or if you’re wondering if someone you love may be suffering from bulimia nervosa, consider these signs:
- obsession with food or eating
- obsession with preventing weight gain
- obsession with your body
- feeling afraid of the lack of control you have over your eating habits
- feeling as if once you start eating you won’t be able to quit
- feeling as if you will eat so much you feel sick
- taking laxatives or diuretics or weight loss medications to prevent from gaining weight
- eating excessive amounts of food and then purging the food out
If you think that you are bulimic, the best thing you can do is seek professional help. Counseling and therapy are often provided to those suffering from this condition to help them regain control over their thoughts and actions. Behavioral therapy works well in the treatment of eating disorders such as bulimia. During this type of treatment, a counselor will work with you to help you learn how to recognize the ways that food makes you feel and how to change your behaviors in response to these emotions.
Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to getting treatment. Talk with someone about your symptoms and seek professional help. The advice and support that you will receive could change your life.