Bulimia Facts

Bulimia Facts
Bulimia (bulimia nervosa) is an eating disorder characterized by binging (consuming a lot of food in a short time period), and then purging (making oneself throw up the food or using a laxative). Bulimia does not usually result in losing a lot of weight (as in the case of anorexia nervosa) and most people suffering from this disorder have a normal weight. Bulimia is often accompanied by mental disorders, and factors that contribute to risk for developing the disease include cultural pressure for thinness, psychological stress, obesity, and poor self-image, as well as a possible genetic risk. The primary treatment for bulimia is cognitive behavioural therapy, and when needed medication for depression. Bulimia carries an increased risk of death, but treatment is possible.
Interesting Bulimia Facts:
Ancient Egyptian physicians suggested that people purge three days each month in order to maintain one's health.
Elite society members in Ancient Rome would purge themselves so that they had more room for food when attending all-day banquets.
Bulimia was given its name in 1979 by Gerald Russell, a British psychiatrist.
Approximately 6.5 million people around the world are estimated to be suffering from bulimia.
In young women it is estimated that 1% has bulimia at any given time. 2% to 3% of women will develop the disorder within their lifetime.
Women are not the only ones that can develop bulimia. It is nine times more likely to occur in women, but men do develop bulimia.
Young adult women have the highest rates of bulimia, and it is more common in the developed world than in the developing world.
Bulimia can result in chronic gastric reflux, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, inflammation and damage to the esophagus, oral trauma, ruptures in the esophageal wall, dental erosion, swollen glands, peptic ulcers, infertility, kidney failure, constipation, weight fluctuations, sore cheeks, scars on the hands, and death.
Signs that someone might be suffering from bulimia include a constant preoccupation with number of calories consumed, being extremely conscious of one's weight, low blood pressure, low self-esteem, irregular menstrual cycles, depression, frequent trips to the washroom, consuming large amounts of food in a short time period, and possibly excessive exercise.
The stomach acid that passes through the mouth when vomiting can lead to dental erosion. Commonly the enamel of the teeth wears away.
Bulimia can result in cardiac arrest and death because purging can cause an electrolyte imbalance that causes abnormal heart rhythms.
Bulimics often purge because they feel guilty after their uncontrolled binge eating.
Some bulimics over-exercise because they are so concerned about their body image.
Pregnant women with bulimia can have negative consequences for them and their baby including miscarriage, gestational diabetes, still birth, breech baby, birth defects, and high blood pressure.
Sometimes bulimia can happen several years after a traumatic event in one's life. It can be an effort to control one's life, and to regain self-esteem.
Some people suffer from bouts of bulimia whenever they feel like their world is out of control.
Bulimia is treatable, and it is estimated that 50% are recovered within 10 years following treatment.

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