What is Bulimia

"What is bulimia" is a commonly asked question by parents of teenagers because the disease has become so prevalent in society. Parents have cause to worry about their adolescent daughters as the dangers in bulimia can be quite severe. Bulimia is a psychological eating disorder that affects mostly women ages fifteen to twenty five, although some men do suffer from the disease as well. Bulimia differs from anorexia in that it does not always limit food intake. It does, however, cause a person to binge, eat large amounts of food, and then purge it out. Purging is forcible vomiting. It is crucial to find the most scientific and through information when researching "what is bulimia".

Some of the main dangers in this illness are the acts of binging and purging themselves. When binging, a sufferer of bulimia consumes enormous quantities of food, sometimes as much as 20,000 calories. Binging foods tend to be labeled as "comfort" foods such as donuts, Twinkies, ice cream, cakes and pastries. Other dangers include long-term affects such as problems getting pregnant later in life. Even though sufferers of bulimia realize the physical affects can be so harmful, often times they say they can't control their mind that tells them to pursue being thin. The biggest dangers in bulimia are a bulimic's own mind and thoughts.

Teens today take for granted what can happen when you become obsessed with being thin. Studies now show that thin is not the healthiest way to live. The Centers for Disease Control research says that "moderately overweight" is actually healthier than being too thin. As teens and their parents learn the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including the right amount of food and nutrition, the dangers in bulimia amongst teens should decrease.

If asking "what is bulimia" then continue doing research to find out more about the disease before you misdiagnose a friend or family member. Due to intense media attention, anorexia nervosa has become a buzz word among teenagers. In some cases, this disease has become "popularized" in high schools among certain groups of girls. The seriousness and the dangers need to be made clear to the youth of this generation. God wants everyone to take care of the bodies He has entrusted to them. John 10:10 says "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." He intended for everyone to be as healthy as possible unless out of human control.

Bulimia nervosa like anorexia is a mental health disorder, but bulimia tends to affect women in their early to mid twenties. Michelle Hope is one of these women who began her battle 14 years ago just after she had finished college. She offers bulimia tips on her website and hopes that her experiences will assist other's struggling to overcome the disorder.

Michelle's battle is similar to what many women go through who suffer from bulimia. Bulimia is an eating disorder slightly different from anorexia. A bulimic will eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time, this is known as bingeing, but then to prevent weight gain will purge. Purging is done in several ways by a person suffering who is bulimic where they might make themselves throw-up the food before it is digested, or take excessive laxatives to increase how quickly the food moves through their body.

The effects can be extremely harmful to a woman's health. These dangers should be used to caution women beginning to struggle with the disorder. Bulimia nervosa negatively affects multiple parts of a person's body. A bulimic's heart could suffer from an irregular heart beat, the heart muscle being weakened, low blood pressure and low pulse, and even heart failure. Other fatal effects of bulimia include rupturing of the stomach and tearing or rupturing of the throat and esophagus, both from excessive purging. Keeping a healthy body is crucial. God's Word, the Bible, encourages us to care for our bodies because we were bought with price. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, says "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Outward signs of a person struggling with bulimia exist more clearly than signs of anorexia. A bulimic will typically have dry skin and abrasion of their knuckles. In order for most bulimics to purge, they push one or two of their fingers down their throat until gag reflex is induced. The rubbing of their own teeth against their knuckles is one sign that many friends and family members can easily recognize. Another will be tooth enamel erosion to the point that teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold, and gum disease can also occur. The amount of acidulous fluids from vomiting is harmful to a bulimic's throat and mouth. Michelle Hope experienced many of these harmful effects of bulimia nervosa. Finally recovered, Michelle desires to become a speaker and author to assist other women suffering from the disorder. She hopes to offer bulimia tips so that women can overcome a disease that is only becoming more prevalent each year.

Many bulimics will also binge and then exercise excessively to prevent weight gain. Some women suffering from this disease also suffer from anorexia. After bingeing, they might go for a long period of time without eating at all or very little. Bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are closely linked, and many of the long-term health effects can be seen in people suffering from both disorders.

Effects of Bulimia

The effects of bulimia can cause immediate and lasting severe health consequences for those caught in this vicious cycle. Bulimia signs are earmarked by repeated uncontrollable urges to eat large amounts of food in a short period of time called binging. After binging, the bulimic often induces vomiting, uses laxatives, enemas, diuretics or diet pills to prevent weight gain. Some individuals purge themselves by maintaining strict diets between binges.

The signs of this disorder should not be confused with the signs of anorexia. Effects of bulimia can be as severe a health risk as anorexia but whereas bulimics binge on high calorie foods, the anorexic restricts food intake altogether. Individuals suffering from this disorder are plagued by the irresistible urges to binge on food with high calorie content such as ice cream, candy bars, cookies and pudding. A binge typically lasts about two hours and only stops when the bulimic gets a stomachache or feels sleepy.

This disorder can often lead to depression, guilt and shame. Individuals realize their behavior is abnormal and out of control. Bulimia signs are patterns of binging behavior and vary from person to person. Some bulimics binge several times a day for a few days, then not at all for a very long time. Other bulimia signs are more predictable patterns of behavior by binging and purging three times a week.

Although, there is no conclusive evidence linking bulimia to biological factors such as a brain chemical imbalance, the brain sends messages to turn off the desire to eat more after the individual has consumed an unusual amount of food. The effects of bulimia trick the brain into feeling satisfied, but in actuality, the person is in a food-deprived state. Some bulimics adopt this abnormal eating pattern for professional reasons.

Dancers, actors, models and athletes whose careers depend upon staying thin will purge themselves with laxatives or induce vomiting. One of the most famous bulimics in recent history was Princess Diana of England. The effects of bulimia lead her into a lifetime of misery and speculation in tabloid headlines and a lifelong obsession with the staying thin. Society plays a larger role to emphasize the ideal thin female form and greatly influences young women to obtain societies' expectations.

This disease is very destructive and will eventually take its toll on the body. Physical consequences of bulimia include broken blood vessels, dehydration, tremors, blurred vision, cramps, constipation, internal bleeding, infections, damage to the bowel, liver and kidney damage, loss of tooth enamel, or suicidal depression. The devastating effects of this disorder can be avoided through intervention, awareness and professional medical treatment. Prayer for healing and strength to fight this battle is also very important. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). The individual, relatives, and friends must aware of bulimia signs and seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Bulimia symptoms can be difficult for family members or friends to notice immediately, because the actions associated with the disorder are almost always done in secret. Bulimia causes a sufferer to hide the large amounts of food they consume, and purge it privately later. Though the illness is considered a psychological disorder, it's hard to physically recognize the symptoms. Most bulimics are of normal weight or even overweight which differs from those suffering from a related eating disorder; anorexia nervosa. The disorder is categorized by a person to worrying constantly about their weight, their appearance, and eating in general. God has wonderfully made each individual and encourages those with low self esteem to have the strength to accept themselves, whatever their weight. "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:24).

Bulimia can be extremely damaging to a person's mind and body, and it can ultimately lead to death. Bulimia symptoms include eating uncontrollably, purging, strict dieting, fasting and vigorous exercise. The excessive vomiting and use of laxatives can cause a bulimic person to begin vomiting blood. Other symptoms to watch for in those expressing intense desire to lose weight are a frequent use of the bathroom after meals and swollen glands in neck and face. One problem bulimia causes that many sufferers don't realize is dental health issues. The acidic vomit constantly surrounding a sufferer's teeth results in cavities, tooth decay, and gum decay. This is a symptom that friends and family members can sometimes notice. In addition to tooth decay, blisters or calluses will often form on the tops of a bulimic's fingers and knuckles. They typically use their fingers to induce vomiting by pushing them down their throat until they gag.

Concerned family members or friends should always be looking for any irregularities in a friend or loved one's habits or patterns. Bulimia causes a potassium deficiency in the body because all of the nutrients have been excreted in one form or another. Some bulimia symptoms lead directly to fatality. An instance where this can be seen includes the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. Bulimics like Terri can go into cardiac arrest from lack of nutrition and end up in a coma. Researchers now believe that the disorder might be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, similar to some forms of depression. Whatever the case, the eating illness can be harmful on the body and a sufferer should receive both physical and mental treatment immediately.





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