Bulimia

Bulimia:  Abnormal increase in sensation of hunger - an eating disorder on the rise among teenage females.  Patients with this disorder go on repeated eating binges.  Typically, they induce vomiting so that they may eat again, the patient may eat several times a day (binge), then purge to allow self to vomit.  Purging allows the patient to feel in control of food intake and allows eating to continue until abdominal pain, sleep, or the presence of another person interrupts it.  Patients with bulimia are obsessed with body shape and weight.  They may also use diuretics and or an excessive use of laxative.  Patient may exercise vigorously, have excessive sleep pattern, and strict dieting or fasting regimes.  Patient may be afraid of not being able to control weight and their eating binges, they become depressed and have self - deprecating thoughts after a binge- purge episode.

This eating disorder usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood, the exact cause of bulimia remains unknown, studies shows that psychosocial factors that probably contribute to its development include family disturbance or conflict, struggle for control or self - identity, cultural overemphasis on physical appearance, and weight requirements associated with competitive activities.  Psychiatric theory leans strongly toward considering bulimia a syndrome of depression.

Symptoms:

  • Episodic binge eating as often as several times a day, and purging through vomiting, laxatives, or diuretics. 
  • Weight fluctuations (though, exercise usually keep weight within normal range)
  • Excessive exercise schedule
  • Feeling of distorted body image
  • Low self - esteem, worthlessness, anxiety, and hopelessness
  • May have an enlarged lymph glands in the neck
  • Often breath smells of mouth wash
  • Dental problems


Treatments:

Patient with this disorder knows that his eating pattern is abnormal but can not control it.  Interventions focus on breaking the binge - purge cycle and helping the patient regain control over eating behavior.

Treatment includes;  behavior modification therapy, patient may be an outpatient basis.

Support group therapy - self help groups, such as Overeaters Anonymous

One on one  psychotherapy and family therapy

Antidepressant therapy

We recommend the American Anorexia/Bulimia Association and Anorexia Nervosa for further assistance and information.

Note:  Bulimia is seldom confused with any other physical disorder.  Laboratory tests may rule out hypokalemia or alkalosis associated with electrolyte imbalances or dehydration.

This this order is very serious, and can lead to complications such as  (heart attack)

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