Bulimia Nervosa, also known as bulimia, is an eating disorder characterized by eating heavy amount of food in a short time period, and forcing to purge it immediately to prevent any weight gain. This disorder is a resultant of binge-eating reaching to the extent that the person starts having a distorted image of one’s body and excessive consciousness of the calorie intake.
Bulimia nervosa can be seen as a constant struggle between an uncontrollable desire to eat a large amount of food and a compulsive desire to lose weight. A person with bulimia nervosa doesn’t want to binge, but eventually ends up consuming 3000 to 5000 calories in a single intake due to a powerful urge to eat. He/she immediately feels ashamed and guilty for eating it, and forces oneself to vomit or do some sort of vigorous exercise to unload the calories. With the continuty of this disorder the patient will feel the urge to purge even after a normal meal.
Types of Bulimia Nervosa
Purging Bulimia is characterized by forced vomiting or using laxatives and enemas (medicines which can induce puking or purging) to throw up the eaten food.
Non-purging bulimia is characterized by using tough exercises, vigorous working out, starvation or rigid diet plans after bingeing with the purpose to get rid of the calories.
Risks Involved with Bulimia
Some of the risks and complications that can be induced by constant purging or vigorous exercises in unhealthy way are:
Loss of Essential Nutrients
The forced vomiting or purging can lead to loss of essential nutrients from the body. The body loses a lot of fluid, minerals and nutritional elements required for a good health. This can further lead to dehydration, weakened immune system and fatigue.
Digestive Tract Disorders
The frequent vomiting and throwing up food can have serious effects on the digestive system. It can cause abdominal irritation, aches, bleeding in the esophagus and stomach.
Complications of Using Laxatives
Using different laxative drugs to induce vomiting can result in critical health issues. Using certain laxatives without prescription may cause serious muscle spasms(A sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles), palpitation(Irregular, rapid beating or pulsation of the heart), constipation, rectal prolapse(The falling down or slipping out of place of an organ or part, such as the uterus) and even serious heart conditions.
Tooth cavities and Decay
The forced and repetitive vomiting and purging can have severe effect on a person’s teeth. The acids produced by stomach during vomiting and purging can create irritation in the tooth gums and deteriorate the tooth enamel. Eventually, it develops tooth cavities.
Bulimia can also result in depression in people. This disorder is a consequence of the distorted image of one’s body and the unreasonable desire to eat in contrary. This condition becomes a cycle; the person can’t stop eating, feels guilty to have eaten so much and purges immediately. In the long run, the person can be deeply depressed about it, resulting in several other mental health issues.