Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by cycles of binging and purging. People with bulimia will severely restrict their food intake in an attempt to control their weight, then binge eat and purge the food by using laxatives or making themselves vomit.
What Factors Can Cause Bulimia Nervosa?
There is no single cause of bulimia nervosa. The condition is normally linked to a fear of gaining weight, but more complex emotional factors generally come into play. The binging and purging cycle is often an attempt to deal with these emotions. Common emotional problems which can lead to bulimia include low self-esteem, depression and stress.
People, who have been sexually abused, have had a difficult childhood or family problems can also be more prone to develop the condition. Sometimes bulimia can occur in people who have suffered from a severe physical illness.
Bulimia Signs and Symptoms
The most obvious signs of bulimia are binge eating and purging. Binge eating is the repeated eating of large quantities of high calorie food when you might not actually be hungry. This urge to eat can be a way of trying to deal with emotional problems but can soon become out of control, obsessive behavior. It is usually done very rapidly and can make you feel sick and uncomfortable afterwards. As a symptom of bulimia, binge eating is done regularly and can be spontaneous or planned.
Food is purged as a response to binging. If you have binged on a lot of food very quickly you may feel guilty, bloated, fat, unattractive, or ashamed. However, the main impulse to purge is caused by a fear of gaining weight. Purging is normally done by making you vomit or by using laxatives. Less common methods of purging are taking diet pills, over exercising, extreme dieting or periods of starvation, or taking drugs e.g. amphetamines.
People with bulimia are often caught in a cycle of binging and purging due to low self esteem and unrealistic body goals. You may think of yourself as overweight, even if you have a normal body weight for your height. This can lead you to have strict rules around food, diet and exercise. Failing to keep to these unrealistic goals can cause you to binge on the foods you have denied yourself, which causes you to purge the food, and so on.
Other physical symptoms are menstrual irregularities, swollen glands, rotting teeth and frequent weight fluctuations.
Psychological symptoms may also be present, such as an obsession towards food and eating, body dysmorphia, depression, anxiety, and isolating yourself from other people. Without treatment, bulimia can lead to a number of physical complications.
There are certain factors which can increase the risk for bulimia and other eating disorders. These factors include: A biological parent or sibling, who has an eating disorder, is overweight or obese excessive worrying about weight, or symptoms of depression starting a restrictive diet certain personality traits, for instance being a perfectionist easily influenced by cultural and media ideals of thin body types.
Can I Treat Bulimia Myself?
Recovery from bulimia is always possible, no matter how long you have suffered with the disorder. However, to stop the cycle it is important to seek professional help, stick with the treatment, and try to resolve the emotional problems which originally caused the bulimia.
Food Plan for Recovery from Bulimia
Bulimia recovery can be aided by a good food plan. These normally suggest eating three meals and three snacks a day, three hours apart. This routine of eating wholesome, nourishing food regularly will ensure you don't get hungry between meals which could lead to a binge, and will help your body to recover and become healthy again.
Psychological Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa
The most common psychological treatment for bulimia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A therapist will talk with you and help you look at your emotions in detail, and to come up with new ways of seeing situations, feelings, and food. The treatment targets the unhealthy eating habits and the negative thoughts that contribute to them.
Tips on How to Cure Bulimia Naturally
To help aid your recovery naturally, you could also try the following: yoga meditation calming herbal teas, especially fennel probiotics eating wholesome, nourishing foods including whole grains, salmon and spinach.
Where Can I Get Help for Bulimia?
Depending on your personal circumstances, when you decide to ask for help you may find it easiest first to talk to somebody close to you, or to go straight to a health professional. Either way, recovery form bulimia will be much easier with experts there to help and care for you.
To get professional help, you will need to find an eating disorder specialist in your area. To do this, you can go to your primary care doctor and ask for a referral, check with your local hospital or your school nurse, or you can call an eating disorder helpline.
Depending on your personal circumstances, when you decide to ask for help you may find it easiest first to talk to somebody close to you, or to go straight to a health professional. Either way, recovery form bulimia will be much easier with experts there to help and care for you. To get professional help, you will need to find an eating disorder specialist in your area. To do this, you can go to your primary care doctor and ask for a referral, check with your local hospital or your school nurse, or you can call an eating disorder helpline.