BULIMIA (bulimia nervosa): Recognize symptoms and signs

Diet advice
BULIMIA (bulimia nervosa): Riconoscere sintomi e segni
Bulimia is characterized by repeated bouts of cravings and increased food intake (power attacks), followed by self-induced vomiting. As a rule, such attacks take place in complete secrecy. A deep sense of shame after such an attack is a major reason to hide the disease from your best friends. Another hallmark of bulimia is being mentally occupied almost permanently with everything to do with food, calories, body weight, diet and figure, etc. People with bulimia can be underweight, normal, or overweight, but usually have an ideal very thin body. Mixed forms of bulimia and anorexia are common. A deep sense of shame causes those affected to hide their disease for a long time and become socially isolated. Often, depression of varying severity and self-aggressive behavior (SVV), i.e. the deliberate addition of cuts, wounds or other injuries, e.g. due to feelings of self-hatred.

Symptoms

Body image disturbances

Even in bulimic patients there is a disturbance in the perception of one's own body. Even though they have lost a lot of weight in the course of their illness, they overestimate their body circumference and think they are too fat.

Changed eating behavior

The disease is characterized by repeated bouts of food cravings (bouts of bingeing), usually followed by self-induced vomiting. In bouts of binge eating, foods that are rather taboo are usually selected: mostly foods high in fat and carbohydrates. Up to 50,000 calories can be ingested in such an attack. The frequency of bouts of food and vomiting varies from 1-2 to 20 per day. Equally variable is the duration of a single attack. Periods of extreme fasting often alternate. As a rule, such attacks occur in secret and are often not noticed by the partner or family member at all or very late. The range of feelings involved is enormous: orgasmic pleasure and highest satisfaction and deep depression and a sense of failure can alternate. A deep sense of shame is a major reason to hide the disease from your best friends. Often it comes to the point of oral robbery of family or community food stocks: there are cases in which huge debts are contracted for the purchase of industrial quantities of food. Vomiting can also occur after eating a large meal normal.

Psychic changes

Another criterion for bulimia is being almost permanently mentally occupied with everything to do with food, calories, body weight, diet and figure, etc. People with bulimia can be underweight, normal, or overweight, but usually have an ideal very thin body. Two strong aspirations determine emotions: uneaten food and the desire to stay thin or become thin. Bulimia is the solution to inherently incompatible inner goals. In almost all cases, the feelings of those affected are greatly influenced by bulimic behavior. It is often not clear which feelings and emotions have caused bulimia, and which have arisen from it. Very characteristic for women with bulimia, but also for other forms of eating disorders, is low self-esteem, which is often burdened by many years of additional symptoms.

Drug abuse and addictive behaviors

Besides self-imposed vomiting, other means are used to prevent the fattening effect: laxatives, appetite suppressants, fasting periods, diuretics (water pills), thyroid medications, and more. The circumstances accompanying the disease can also lead to the development of an addiction (drugs, alcohol) or borderline personality disorder. Of course, because stressful relationships can trigger and sustain bulimia, bulimia can also strain and often destroy one's relationships.

Physical changes

Depending on the extent of the symptoms, bulimia has significant physical consequences: electrolyte imbalance from vomiting, abuse of laxatives and malnutrition, enlargement of the salivary glands (plump cheeks), dental defects and enamel corrosion, diarrhea and constipation (often alternating), Russell's marks on the back of the hand from rubbing the incisors against the skin. What to do? Consult a psychologist Follow a regular diet e a healthy lifestyle

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