How to Treat Bulimia at Home
Bulimia, anorexia and binge eating are regarded by mental health professionals as eating disorders. Bulimia nervosa or simply bulimia is a condition that consists in eating a large quantity of food over a small period of time and then using compensatory behaviors such as purging, induced vomiting, taking laxatives, water pills, enemas, fasting or submitting ton extreme exercise in order to get rid of the extra calories.
How to Treat Bulimia Nervosa at Home
A person that suffers from bulimia feels that she does not have control over how much she eats. The binge episodes followed by purging or other compensatory behaviors become a vicious circle and the person feels that she cannot put an end to it.
A patient that suffers from bulimia has a distorted body image and he or she continuously sees himself or herself as too fat. Bulimia usually starts off as a form of dieting. Most people with bulimia succeed in maintaining their weight at a normal level, which separates them from patients with anorexia, who become extremely underweight. Bulimia is more common in women than in men and it usually starts in early or mid-adolescence. Bulimia is often associated with depression, feelings of inadequacy and very low self-esteem. Most people that suffer from bulimia admit that their behavior is abnormal, but they state that they cannot control it. This leads to a specific lifestyle that revolves around this behavior.
The most important symptom of bulimia nervosa that clinicians use to diagnose this condition is the presence of binge eating episodes, followed by compensatory behavior that is designed to prevent weight gain, that occurs at least twice every week for a period of three months.
Another symptom of bulimia nervosa taken into account when making a diagnosis decision is the fact that the entire self-evaluation of the patient is influenced by her body weight and shape.
It is very important to distinguish between bulimia, anorexia and binge eating. In anorexia, the patient is severely underweight and binge episodes are very rare, while in bulimia, the patient maintains a normal weight.
Patients with binge eating disorder are different from those with bulimia nervosa by the fact that they do not use compensatory behaviors to avoid gaining weight.
Bulimia is potentially life-threatening and it can have severe consequences. Electrolytes imbalance, esophagus, and salivary glands inflammations and teeth and gums problems are just a few of the effects of bulimia. Other effects of bulimia include chronic irregular bowel movements in patients that use laxatives, social and family problems, as well as mental problems such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug abuse.
Despite these devastating effects of bulimia, there are more and more ‘pro bulimia’ and ‘pro-anorexia’ web sites that promote bulimia-like behaviors as a ‘reliable’ method of losing weight. Pro bulimia web sites often use the terms ‘mia’ and ‘ana’ to refer to bulimia, anorexia. These pro bulimia sites are very dangerous especially for impressionable teenage girls that can decide to engage in bulimic behaviors to be ‘cool’ or to lose weight.
One of the options of treating bulimia is that a person who is in care of the bulimia sufferer (parent, guardian or a friend) should quickly consult a doctor about the issue. Remember, a bulimia sufferer will not admit to a problem and therefore it can gradually get worse if nothing is done.
Cognitive therapy Because bulimia and other similar conditions are often psychological problems that stem from distortions of the mind, it might be necessary to see a psychologist who will initiate a therapy program called cognitive behavior therapy that’s aimed at looking at the relationship between your thoughts in respect to the food you consume. It tries to get a sense of what your feelings are about food by keeping a diary.