Sunday, December 8, 2013

Eating Disorders II - Bulimia

Understanding bulimia
Bulimia is a condition in which a person having it consumes extremely high quantities of food. This is done compulsively, almost as quickly as finishing which, the person throws out everything of what is eaten. This regurgitation is done both out of fear of having eaten food in excess of what is needed, and out of guilt at having done it.
Bulimia is often characterized as the opposite of anorexia, the other extreme condition in which people deny themselves the food they need for sustenance because they want to remain slim. Rather than consider them as opposites, it will be appropriate to consider them as counterparts. While an anorexic is easily identifiable outwardly by the slender figure; a bulimic is less distinguishable, at least by the figure, because she generally has a normal one.

Some can be both bulimics and anorexics
Incidentally, many bulimics, because of the fact that they throw out whatever excessive food they eat, are anorexics, too when they do not splurge. In other words; bulimics are people who generally eat less, but go on a binge at certain times in spurts, depending on their mood. They are more like alcoholics in that they lose control over themselves at certain times. Bulimics resort to excessive eating, only to induce themselves into vomiting everything later.

Other means of throwing out food
Bulimics can choose other means of eliminating the excess food they have consumed. They can push themselves to the wall by exercising far in excess of what the body needs or can withstand. Bulimics also take a high dose of laxatives to clear the body of the entire excessive intake

There are many reasons for which people become bulimics. Bulimia is a result of social, psychological, genetic and other factors. A few anorexics consider possession of the figure that is seen as ideal by society as a means of victory from their disturbed upbringing. With bulimics, the psychological reason is related to the above, with the variation that they consider eating as a means of breaking free from social strictures. They see this as some kind of rebellion to the established social custom. The identification of the cause can be a major step towards treating the condition.

Again, as with anorexia; bulimia too needs to be identified early. However, unlike this other condition, bulimia shows up a few outward signs, which need to be watched out for. These include injuries in the inside of the mouth caused by constant prodding of the fingers to vomit, ulcers, enlarged neck, low blood pressure caused by very less food in the body and dehydration. These need to be looked out for in such people. Here too, as in the case of anorexia; complete cure is possible, although it may take time.

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