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Bulimia Nervosa : Awareness

Originally written by @Hope
Transferred by @emsworld

Hey, Everyone! Recently I started a series of awareness posts on Eating Disorders. I have covered Binge Eating Disorder and Anorexia Nervosa so far. Now I would like to take some time to explain Bulimia Nervosa in detail in this post.


What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder usually characterised by periods of binging—or excessive overeating—followed by purging. It is usually known as “Bulimia”. People with bulimia have a fear of gaining weight; however, that does not mean all people with bulimia are underweight. Some people with bulimia are overweight or obese. They attempt to use purging to manage their weight or prevent additional weight gain. Bulimia nervosa is a serious mental illness that requires intensive treatment. Getting help for your bulimia gives you the best chance to overcome this eating disorder.


What are the major types of Bulimia Nervosa?

There are two common types of bulimia nervosa, which are as follows:

-Bulimia Nervosa Purging type -This type of bulimia nervosa accounts for the majority of cases of those suffering from this eating disorder.  In this form, individuals will regularly engage in self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas after a period of bingeing.

-Bulimia Nervosa Non-purging type -In this form of bulimia nervosa, the individual will use other inappropriate methods of compensation for binge episodes, such as excessive exercising or fasting.  In these cases, the typical forms of purging, such as self-induced vomiting, are not regularly utilised.


What are the symptoms of Bulimia?

Symptoms of bulimia include:

-Repeated binge eating, or eating larger amounts of food than most people would in a similar situation, in a short period of time (2 hours or less).

-Frequently getting rid of the calories you've eaten (purging) by making yourself vomit, fasting, exercising too much.

-Feeling a loss of control over how much you eat.

-Feeling ashamed of overeating and very fearful of gaining weight.

-Basing your self-esteem and value upon your body shape and weight.

-Thinking about food, your body, or dieting so much that it distracts you from other tasks.


What causes Bulimia?

The exact cause of bulimia is unknown. There are many factors that could play a role in the development of eating disorders, including biology, emotional health, societal expectations and other issues.


Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of bulimia may include:

-Being female: Girls and women are more likely to have bulimia than boys and men are.

-Age: Bulimia often begins in the late teens or early adulthood.

-Biology: People with first-degree relatives (siblings, parents or children) with an eating disorder may be more likely to develop an eating disorder, suggesting a possible genetic link. It's also possible that a deficiency in the brain chemical serotonin may play a role. And, being overweight as a child or teen may increase the risk.

-Psychological and emotional issues: Psychological and emotional problems, such as anxiety disorder or low self-esteem, can contribute to eating disorders. Triggers for bingeing may include stress, poor body self-image, food, restrictive dieting or boredom. In some cases, traumatic events and environmental stress may be contributing factors.

-Media and societal pressure: The media, such as TV and fashion magazines, frequently feature a parade of skinny models and actors. These images seem to equate thinness with success and popularity. But whether the media merely reflect social values or actually drive them isn't clear.

-Sports, work or artistic pressures: Athletes, actors, dancers and models are at a higher risk of eating disorders. Coaches and parents may inadvertently raise the risk by encouraging young athletes to lose weight, maintain a low weight and restrict eating for better performance.
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