Bulimia is serious and rare eating disorder that is typically characterized by periods in which a sufferer restrains from food intake, followed by periods of binge eating. During a period of binge eating, these individuals may consume as much as 3,000 to 5,000 calories in very short time. As a result, a person feels a lot of guilt and suffers from low self-esteem, trying to overcome these unpleasant feelings in a number of different ways.
Behavior of people with bulimia
Most of the people suffering from bulimia will adapt a pattern of defensive vomiting, to overcome the sensation of guilt and losing the control. Others may start using many other purgative substances such as laxatives, enemas, diuretics, or may even engage in vigorous and exhausting physical exercise. However, purging only reinforces binge eating. This is a vicious circle in which a person purges to avoid weight gain, and then feels shame and disgust about self, then engages into strict dieting, which leads to tension and severe food cravings, and binge eating is just a way to relieve this tension. However, each episode of binge eating is followed by purging, and the circle continues.
Signs and symptoms of bulimia
This condition mostly affects females, with median age of onset being 18. The most prominent sign of this eating disorder is lack of control over eating. People suffering from bulimia are completely unable to stop eating while they’re in a binge period. They may eat until they feel physically ill. They also tend to hide their eating habits from the others. For example, they may enjoy food when no one else is in the house, or otherwise eat in privacy. The amounts of food they eat are usually very large, and yet it will be very hard to notice any kind of change in their weight. This is because people with bulimia tend to vomit or purge after eating, or work out strenuously.
People with bulimia often disappear after the lunch, usually in the bathroom where they may run the water only to disguise sounds of vomiting. Sometimes, people will be able to feel the smell of vomit in the bathroom or on people suffering from bulimia. Their cheeks may also appear puffy, because of repeated vomiting, and their teeth may start becoming discolored, from excessive exposure to stomach acids.
This is a dangerous condition that puts a lot of mental and physical stress on the patient. It is associated with many side effects and should be treated as soon as it is possible with a lot of care and concern.