Attention This is NOT meant for self-diagnosis nor is it an exhaustive list. This is just to give you an idea about the condition. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms or signs, please refer yourself to a physician for a complete diagnosis that involves comprehensive tests and lab reports. Thank you. The […]
This is NOT meant for self-diagnosis nor is it an exhaustive list. This is just to give you an idea about the condition. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms or signs, please refer yourself to a physician for a complete diagnosis that involves comprehensive tests and lab reports. Thank you.
Bulimia Nervosa is a serious psychological eating disorder that is characterised by recurrent episodes of binge eating, (i.e. Eating an excessive amount of food in a short time) followed by immediate purging (expulsion) through forced vomiting, using laxatives, or diuretics. The condition is so grievous that if left untreated may lead to severe health impairments, even suicide and death. One of the major concerns is that people with bulimia can have average body weight, that causes other people or themselves to not know that they are having this condition.
Similar to anorexia, the exact reasons that cause this disorder remain unknown. But a series of factors are identified to cause this condition that ranges from genetic, social and psychological. Social factors like ideal weight and body shape have caused people to develop complexes that lower their self-esteem. Psychological stress like depression, trauma and anxiety may also contribute to the condition.
Unlike anorexia, it is very hard to diagnose the condition as the person suffering this will have normal body weight and be perceived normal to others. The DSM-5 criteria for diagnosis are as follows,
The consequences of not treating this condition will range from severe Dehydration leading to kidney failure and others, heart problems, breakdown of teeth, substance abuse and suicide. The person may constantly feel tired, have inflamed throat muscles, have belly pain and encounter trouble in bowel movement.
There are no known cures for the condition, but intervention and treatment in terms of psychological therapy seem to help the person overcome with time. The main aim of the therapy is to break the cycles of binge eating and purging and also to maintain a healthy diet routine. Treatments like Family-based therapy where the parents take over the monitoring of the eating habits of the child, or Cognitive Based Therapy have shown good results. In certain cases, medications are also used in combination with therapy to treat the condition.
This might seem a little difficult at the beginning but with practice, it can be mastered. Only with professional medical help and self-control, one may be able to overcome this easily. Remember this is not something to be ashamed of, nor is it something to be repressed.
Writer: Manojj Dhinakaran