Bulimia or Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by cycles or episodes of binge followed by self-provoked purging of the food. This eating disorder can be classified as a potentially life-threatening one. It is one of the most popular existing eating disorders. This purging is most often carried out by vomiting, overexercising, fasting, or using exogenous sources. In such cases, compensatory actions of purging follow episodes of binging. On average, this occurs on two or more days of the week. But continuous cycles can lead to serious physical and mental complications in the person.
The two main practices of Bulimia are :
- Binging – Uncontrollable consumption of large amounts of food than most what people would eat during small periods and under same or similar circumstances. End up feeling uncomfortably full.
- Purging – Constant occurance of compensatory behvaiour in order to make up for the food consumed through vomiting, laxatives or fasting.
Eating disorders are attitudes adopted for unhealthy weight control. This arises due to an extreme fear of weight gain. Evidence suggests consumption of large amounts of food in a short period of time signifies binging. Followed by purging, instances such as disappearing after a meal to the bathroom for long periods. Additionally, discomfort to eat in front of others, foul smell, vomiting, etc. are also major signs.
Mostly noticed during early adolescence or early adulthood. There exist two types of illness – purging i.e. vomiting or laxatives and non-purging by overexercising and fasting. However, individuals struggling with bulimia more often maintain the weight for their particular weight and height unlike that of anorexia. This can lead to serious chronic issues such as heart disease, undesired weight gain or obesity, Type 2 diabetes, permanent damage to the intestines, hormonal problems, etc.
A lot of factors such as genetics, dieting, self-image, etc. can lead to adopting such a disorder. Mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc. also seem to coexist with such a disorder. If in any case, you find yourself struggling with this or something similar, approach a professional or somebody you can trust. It is a very sensitive line between losing weight and hurting yourself permanently.
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