Bulimia Nervosa: A Deadly Disease: What Is Bulimia Nervosa? What Are the Signs and Symptoms?
A Deadly Seductive Illness
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder linked to poor body image; the main symptom being binge eating followed by vomiting. This type of binge eating is off the scale when it comes to binges. Often evolving from binging to gorging on huge amounts of food over many hours with repetitive vomiting. This is a very dangerous disease and not to be confused with overeating.
There may be numerous metal health issues under the surface. For example: Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder. The person may also suffer with extreme anxiety, stress and panic attacks. Bulimia nervosa may carry on from anorexia nervosa. Starving leading to binge eating then purging. Another awful circle of a type of self harming.
Bulimia is a very secretive disease affecting all ages and genders. It is extremely difficult to recognize symptoms of bulimia, unlike anorexia, a bulimic person doesn't necessarily suffer dramatic weight loss. Awareness of the disease is more commonly known among adolescent girls. A secret disease is never easy to define let alone discover. Bulimia is a dangerous and seductive illness; once in the clutches of bulimia nervosa it is very difficult to escape.
A person suffering with bulimia will consume large quantities of high calorie foods over a period that may last hours. They will make themselves vomit to rid their body of the food. This ritual of overeating and purging may be every day, a few times a day or several times a week. The person may use their fingers or an object to make themselves vomit. They may take vomit inducing medication, laxatives or diuretics. A person suffering with bulimia will go to disturbing lengths to empty their stomach, once their binge is over; tying a belt tightly around their middle; beating their stomach with their fists and drinking lots of water are among a few examples that go hand in hand with sticking their fingers down thieir troat. Excessive exercising may also be part of the ritual.The consequences of this disease are terrifying. The constant vomiting and pill popping causes awful affects to the body. The person may suffer from:
- Tooth decay
- Stained teeth
- Chronic digestive problems
- Swollen stomach
- Stomach cramps
- Ruptured stomach
- Swollen glands
- Ruptured esophagus
- Bowel problems
- Organ failure
The acid from the stomach which is used to aid digestion seriously damages the throat and mouth tissue. The constant strain put on the body by forcing food back up the esophagus is horrendous. The swelling caused to the throat glands and the stomach is evidence of the pressure the body suffers. The pills only add to bowel and digestive problems.
This disease is a like an infection; a festering wound. Don't be in any doubt: Bulimia nervosa is a killer.
Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa
You must realise that bulimia nervosa is an illness. The person suffering with this awful disease has lost control of what is a normal relationship with food. Binge eating is out of their control; once they start they can't stop. Binge eating may last a couple of hours, followed by purging. Whether the individual is disgusted with themselves for stuffing their bodies with so much food is very much down to the individual. There are those that plan it; knowing no one will be home, that they can enjoy their binge without inturuption. They may have a secret stash of high calorie foods and know exactly when they will binge.
Then there are those that will shop at different supermarkets or corner stores to buy their calorific goodies without causing suspicion. Don't think for one minute that all sufferers of this awful disease are weak minded; their secrets and lies are almost foolproof. That's why the person with bulimia is so difficult to out. They are very clever and very susupicious of everyone, hence their secretive ways. They also have a tendency to be very private about everything and don't like to be hugged or touched. While a poor body image and not wanting to gain weight certainly plays it's part there are other triggers that may set a person on the path to bulimia nervosa. For example: mental state, peer pressure, obsessiveness, a major incident at home/school/work. A drastic change in their daily lives: a divorce; an illness; a new baby; a new step parent or brother or sister; a death; school or house move.
- Long periods in the bathroom
- Always locking doors (bathroom/bedroom)
- Excessive showering
- Going to the bathroom after eating
- A strong smell of air freshener or deodorant in the bathroom
- Running water in the bathroom to drown out sounds
- Playing music to drown out sounds
- Large amounts of food go missing; yet no wrappers in the bin
- Eating large portions of food one day and very little the next day
- Saving up treats
- Buying excessive amounts of high calorie foods
- Excessive brushing of teeth, use of mouth wash or mints
- Canceling appointments at the last minute
- Being secretive
- Wanting to be home alone
- Avoiding contact (kissing)
- Short tempered
- Puffy cheeks
- Swollen eyes
- Watery eyes
- Burst veins in the eyes
- Nose bleeds
- Sore throat
- Hoarse throat
- Thinning hair
- Bad skin
- Welts on the fingers and knuckles (pay attention)
- Cracks at the corners of the mouth
- Welts at the corner of the mouth
This disease is the enemy of every single individual body. It takes and it destroys. To understand this horrid and soul destroying illness is almost incomprehensible. That's the worst about disease; there is no understanding.
Bulimia nervosa is a daunting and horrific illness. The longer the sufferer lives with bulimia the more they embrace it as part of who they are. Is it possible to understand this disease? Is it possible to understand a person who suffers with this disease? That's a difficult and individual task. Being aware: that's possible.
Can bulimia nervosa be cured? First the disease must be diagnosed by a professional. Once diagnosed a sufferer has a very long and difficult road to recovery ahead of them. Many sufferers may not want to get better. They are addicted to purging. Like any addict, admitting the problem is only the beginning, without admittance there will never be an end.
The biggest battle begins with prevention. No matter how busy your life, know what's happening in your loved one's lives. You'll never forgive yourself should bulimia nervosa steel into the mind of a loved one with every intention to covet.
You need to see! You need to care! You need to be aware! Stop Bulimia Nervosa Now!
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If You Need Help: Talk to Me!
If you're reading this, and you'd like to talk or email you can contact me privately through HubPages and I promise you, I will help you no matter what. I always keep a promise and I will listen and I will be there without judgement. Sometimes you need someone :) I can be that someone; I'm here for you :) Let's just talk!
If you are too embarrassed or just don't want to talk about it or maybe you're sick to death of talking about it, I urge you to buy the book below: The Bulimia Help Method. There are many things to learn from this book and your recovery might be closer than you think.
© 2011 Gabriel Wilson