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Major Eating Disorders: How to Beat Bulimia

Bulimia is a major eating disorder that secretly destroys lives and families each day. This illness involves periodic episodes of overeating followed by self-induced purging of food before it is digested. This is a plague, fueled by fear and it should be dealt with immediately. Discover the facts about this eating disorder and learn ways to beat it before it becomes fatal.

Bulimia Nervosa Defined

There are two types of bulimia. The first is purging, which is the act of removing the food from the body. This can be done by self-induced vomiting, or by using laxatives or enemas to clear the digestive system. The second type is the non-purging, commonly called exercise bulimia. This version of the disorder involves overworking the body with hours of exercise and even fasting to avoid weight gain.

Causes and Symptoms

People may develop bulimia because of many different motives.  This behavior is learned and can be passed down the family tree. Some families carry multiple generations of bulimics who unconsciously spread the habits to their children. This matter will likely be ignored due to the shame and guilt it carries. Another factor that brings on the practice is social pressure. Peers and even family can be cruel with their words and actions. Labeling someone as “fat” or implying that they need to lose weight is a sure way for them develop a bad self-image and take extreme measures, especially in teens. Physical and sexual abuse can also make one shun food. The victim may try to look less appealing to their abuser by losing weight or they are simply depressed, possibly suffering from anxiety, and bulimia is there venting method. These are just a few causes of the complicated malady.

Symptoms of bulimia include but are not limited to:

  • Addiction to food (consumes 3000 to 5000 calories in a day)
  • Distorted thoughts of the body; Low self-esteem
  • Unstable emotions
  • Numerous bathroom visits after eating
  • Dental problems and sores in the mouth (because of stomach acid)
  • Constant obsession with working out
  • Social withdrawal

Beating Bulimia

Overcoming any psychological issue can be daunting so, it is highly recommended to seek professional treatment. However, there are steps you can take to alter your dietary lifestyle until you are ready to take the plunge into specialized recovery.

Listen to Your Body

Sufferers of bulimia nervosa are led to eat by their emotions, not by the feeling of hunger. However, the body does release a hormone called Ghrelin that increases the appetite and is the signal that should encourage you to eat. Leptin is the chemical that suppresses the appetite, produced more when the stomach reaches a certain fullness. Paying attention to these physical cues will allow you to make healthier choices and to stop depending on your feelings.

Grow a positive mind

A positive mindset is important for everyone, no matter where they stand with their health or social status. It raises self-esteem, reduces stress, strengthens immunity, and enhances creativity. However, bulimia stirs negative emotions, which decreases self-esteem and robs you of hope. Ways to get a grip on good thinking require filling your mind with good self-judgments and pushing out any negative thoughts. First, you should come to terms with the fact that you have a problem and that it can lead to death. Then, you need to assess the underlying causes of why this is happening. Research by Reading books that contain accounts of those who have overcome your disorder. In addition, look at some self- improvement books that remind you of how awesome you are. It is also important that you work on your social skills by surrounding yourself with positive people that will build your confidence. With all this, it is highly recommended that you receive counseling, whether it is through a spiritual approach or a therapist.

Maintenance

Once you have gone through the necessary steps to become healthy, you must grow strong to keep old tendencies at bay.

Developing healthier habits such as eating well-balanced meals and drinking plenty of water helps get the body back into gear. It may take a month or two to start feeling better about who you are, but your life is worth the effort, so do not give up.

Tell your secret to someone that genuinely cares about you, and then let him or her help you stay on track. Especially in the beginning, make them your bathroom buddy, and allow them to eat with you.

It is hard to struggle with bulimia and even harder to change the behavior. You will need all the support you can handle and confiding in a true friend will help you to hone your relationship skills.

Bulimia is a devastating condition that no person should ever have to endure. Although it is a powerful addiction, there are ways you can beat it, by changing habits, seeking the support of loved ones and listening to your body. Again, these steps should be used in conjunction with some form of professional treatment. Good luck!

About Clara Valdez

Clara is a dietitian, nutritionist and professional speaker specializing in prevention and performance. She believes that a healthy life is synonymous consuming nutritious food.

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