What is Bulimia?

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What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is a type of eating disorder wherein a person engages in binge eating but later “purges” or vomits what was eaten. Bulimia is also called “Bulimia Nervosa” and persons with this order usually appear normal and suffer in private.

Typically, bulimic persons undergo a cycle of eating and forced food elimination. They eat what they want, in sometimes more than enough quantities, but later force themselves to expel the food that was taken. This purging of food may be in the form of vomiting, abuse of laxatives, excessive exercising and/or fasting. Bulimia is said to be a psychological disorder because most people that have it either have self-esteem issues, are depressed, or are under a lot of stress. These people sort of lose control over the cycle of eating and purging, making the situation even more stressful.

There is no definite cause for disorders like bulimia, but studies have shown that heredity may play a role. If a person has relatives who suffered the disorder, he/she has greater possibility of contracting it compared to other people. Depression may also be a factor as people who are clinically depressed have low levels of serotonin, the body’s feel-good hormone. The pressure of the surroundings in terms of body weight may also contribute to the negative feelings on people’s bodies, which may lead to this particular eating disorder.

Aside from the eating and purging cycle, people with bulimia may also have mood swings, heartburns, constipation, indigestion, irregular menstrual periods, weakness, and red eyes among other symptoms. Treatment usually includes medications and psychological therapies depending on the severity of the disorder. It is also imperative that recovering bulimic persons have a great support system from family and friends.

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