Eating disorders are a huge problem because they are usually a result of the bad body image a person has, no matter if it’s true or not. If it lasts for a longer period, it may cause serious health damages, and it should be treated properly. Even though the symptoms are physical, the trigger’s nature is usually mental. Most people don’t understand the issue, because they weren’t faced with something similar in their life, and it’s easy for them to make inappropriate jokes about forced vomiting and starving. But, the truth is very bitter, because if the bulimic person doesn’t get the needed help, they can end up getting very sick, or even die as a result of body damages caused by starving and induced vomiting.
Sometimes, people choose to ignore it, thinking it’s just a phase in teenage or young adult age. But, it may last for years. One of the examples we all know is princess Diana, who was suffering from bulimia even when she was married to a prince and had two children. She openly talked about the problem, trying to raise awareness about eating disorders in general.
But, why a person will force themselves to throw up?
In most cases, the reason behind it is not letting the food stay longer in the body, so they can avoid weight gain. We all must be aware that bodies come in different shapes and sizes, and that’s one of the reasons why we currently have a lot of positive body image movements all around the world. At the same time, we are also aware that many young people, especially girls, are facing body shaming, and it ruins their mental health. Sometimes they know everything about the risks, but their wish to be accepted is stronger, ending up in harmful behavior.
When a person throws up all the time, they are stopping the intake of the useful nutrients, and we can’t say their weight loss is healthy – just the opposite, they are ruining their body, weaken the muscles, and that may lead to cardiac arrest in some extreme cases.
The parents and the friends should talk openly and offer their help if they see some worrying behavior. If the person is going to the toilet right after the meal, they eat a lot, but still lose weight, or they deny to eat, the problem is here and it waits to be recognized. And if that doesn’t happen, the person won’t outgrow the bulimia as time goes by, but sadly, it can become even worse in adulthood.
According to oliverpyattcenters.com, one of the most common myths is that only the girls and women are affected by this, but even the grown men can have issues with their body image, and try to fix it with these unpopular solutions.
So, finally, we can define that bulimia nervosa as a process of eating large portions of food, rich in calories, and then getting rid of it by vomiting, using laxatives, or even over-exercising.
Can it be passed from one family member to another?
According to some studies, there are genetic and heritable predispositions for a family issue among a few family members. This theory still needs to be well-researched and supported by scientific proof. But, the same studies showed that in a family with at least one bulimic member, there is always a chance for at least another one to have the same issue. The question is, is it a result of the genes, or just an imitation of the behavior they are seeing around them.
Some of the theories are also related to appetite control in the brain and in the genes, which creates an ideal condition to develop a strong scientific proof of heritability. But, we should keep in mind that this theory still needs some researches to be proven as right.
The most common symptoms of bulimia nervosa
It’s not just the eating and vomiting – there are a lot more of them, including:
-Wrong body picture about the shape and weight – they think they are fat, but they look nice and normal
-They are afraid of gaining weight, to the point they are obsessed with the calories and nutrients
-Eating large portions of food, even though they repeat they don’t want to gain weight, but it’s stronger than it
-Using laxatives, because some of them simply hate the aftertaste of the throwing up, or it can make them sick for a longer period
-Using dietary supplements that are made of plants and herbs known for their slimming properties
-Fasting for days, and avoid eating solid food
Sometimes we really eat a lot, and our body is making us sick, so we can help it deal with the excess food, and if it happens once or twice in the lifetime, there is nothing wrong with it. But, if the symptoms are similar or the same as those we described, then the person should ask for professional help, and take care of their physical and mental health.
Untreated bulimia can put your life at risk. If you have an eating disorder, and you are aware of it, then you have to try to help yourself, and deal with the emotional triggers that make you feel unsafe and negative. If you know someone who is at risk of bulimia, you can offer your hand. They may deny you, but once they realize what is happening, they need a lot of compassion and support.
Try to stop it on time, so you can prevent dehydration, kidney failure, continuous digestive problems, heart failure, but also anxiety and depression. Try to focus on good things, and always have a good doctor or another healthcare provider on your side. The people you love will always be there to support you during the recovery and healing, offering a comfortable atmosphere, regular meals, avoid talking about weight issues, and being there when you will have one of those episodes.
If you think you or someone you love is at risk of bulimia, don’t mind asking for help – it will save your or their life in the end.