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Bulimia: symptoms, treatment and consequences

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by a lack of control over food intake, with consumption of large amounts in a short time, before which the patient feels guilty and compensated by self-induced vomiting or other behaviors such as abuse of laxatives that allow that food to be removed from the body again. Often, these behaviors are carried out in a hidden way, so they cannot be easily detected by people around them.

Anorexia and bulimia are the most frequent eating behavior disorders in the population, significantly affecting young people and women. Its appearance is usually closely linked to low self-esteem, which leads to excessive concern about physical appearance, which can intensify if there have been episodes of social rejection or personal failures. At FastlyHealwe, talk about bulimia and tell you about the symptoms, the treatment, and the consequences it can cause.

Symptoms of bulimia

People with bulimia try to hide the behaviors that can give them away as binge eating or vomiting. Also, weight changes are not as apparent as in anorexia, so the symptoms are often not easy to recognize. These are some signs that can reveal the presence of bulimia:

– Great concern for everything related to food and a strong desire to eat, primarily caloric foods such as carbohydrates, sweets, and pastries.

– Consumption of large amounts of food every little time.

– Frequent visits to the bathroom as soon as you finish eating, caused by the abuse of laxatives and diuretics or the desire to self-induce vomiting.

– Strong fears of gaining weight and a tendency to set goals regarding weight loss, with the realization of very restrictive diets, fasting for an extended period, and intense exercise.

– Fatigue, apathy, headaches, irritability and impulsivity, mood swings, sleep problems, and loss of work or school performance due to eating imbalances.

– Presence of symptoms of anxiety or depression caused by low self-esteem.

Complications and consequences of bulimia

Repeated binge eating and vomiting or laxative abuse can lead to some health complications such as the following:

– Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

– Alterations in metabolism include changes in glucose, chlorine, calcium, or potassium in the blood.

– Cardiac disorders such as arrhythmias or hypotension.

– Intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel, megacolon, gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia, pancreatitis, etc.

– Esophageal perforation or gastric ruptures.

– Dental cavities.

– Descaling and osteoporosis.

– Irregularities in menstruation.

– Renal problems.

– Disinterest in social relationships and sex.

– Increased risk of suicide.

Treatment of bulimia

The treatment of bulimia is based on avoiding the physical and psychological complications that it produces, primarily aimed at increasing the patient’s self-esteem, achieving an emotional balance again, and resuming a healthy lifestyle.

The most widely used method is the combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy with antidepressant drugs, especially serotonin inhibitors, which improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, reducing the patient’s desire to binge and self-induced vomiting.

Therapy is the most effective long-term treatment since it works on the recovery of self-esteem, avoiding the overvaluation of physical appearance and the behaviors that this entails. This therapy is usually carried out individually, but it can be beneficial in a group or a family environment.

The support of family and friends is essential for better patient recovery. For this reason, it is imperative that they also become aware of the problem and avoid behaviors that worsen their condition, such as commenting on weight and food or controlling it excessively, constantly talking to them about it.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Bulimia: symptoms, treatment, and consequences, we recommend that you enter our category of Mental Disorders.

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