Bulimia Nervosa

393 Words2 Pages
Bulimia Nervosa Bulimia (oxlike hunger) can be more difficult to detect than anorexia because many girls and women with this disorder maintain a normal body weight. They consume large amounts of food, sometimes up to 5,000 calories worth, then purge themselves of the excess calories. Some do so by inducing vomiting, abusing laxatives or diuretics, taking enemas, fasting or exercising obsessively. The condition tends to become most serious in late adolescence, but can develop at any age from early adolescence to age 40. Bulimia is believed to be much more common than anorexia; as many as 10% of women may suffer from bulimia at some time in their lives, though it typically begins during adolescence. Like the anorexic, the bulimic usually is attempting to control weight. Over time, purging can become a destructive, uncontrollable process. Physical effects can be serious. Frequent vomiting can cause damage to the tissues of the throat and esophagus, and to the teeth. Bowel, liver and kidney problems, dehydration and seizures are also possible. Electrolyte imbalance resulting in a risk of cardiac arrest is another danger. Many people who have bulimia do not seek help until they reach their thirties or forties. By this time, their eating behavior is deeply ingrained and more difficult to change. Danger Signs: eating uncontrollably purging by strict dieting, fasting, vigorous exercise, vomiting or abusing laxatives or diuretics using the bathroom frequently after meals preoccupation with body weight depression mood swings feeling out of control swollen glands in neck and face heartburn bloating irregular periods dental problems constipation indigestion sore throat vomiting blood weakness, exhuastion bloodshot eyes WHAT CAUSE EATING DISORDERS? Experts believe that more and more young people are developing eating disorders, but they are not certain why. Biological, psychological and social factors all play a part. Some scientists believe that genetics are partly to blame since eating disorders tend to run in families. Authorities at the University of Illinois point to evidence suggesting that eating disorders result from an inherited predisposition to mood swings and depression. Other evidence reveals an increased incidence of major depression and alcoholism in blood relatives of persons with bulimia or bulimic variations of anorexia nervosa. Specialists from the UCLA Eating Disorder Program and elsewhere create a profile of the

More about Bulimia Nervosa

Open Document