4 Facts Everyone Should Know About This Serious Eating Disorder
Self Magazine’s correspondent writer Ziba Redif battled bulimia nervosa successfully, revealing that she started the process of recovery during her late 20s.
The eating disorder, commonly referred to as just bulimia, is a serious mental health condition that compels the affected individual to overeat then engage is some sort of compensatory behavior to avoid gaining weight such as induced vomiting, or excessive physical activity.
Unfortunately, bulimia is seldom understood, and Redif shares some of the facts she wishes people knew about the eating disorder.
More than One Form of Purging
When it comes to myths surrounding bulimia, the belief that people suffering from the disorder always induce vomiting is deep-rooted. However, Redif, quoting NEDA (the National Eating Disorders Association), says that vomiting isn’t inextricably linked to bulimia.
In fact, this fallacy is the reason why most people fail to notice that their loved ones could be battling bulimia. How could they if they’re not taking secret trips to the bathroom after every meal?
This school of thought is wrong for the most part because there are other forms of compensatory behavior. These include the misuse of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics. Intense exercise, as already mentioned, is also another way of preventing weight gain.
And since we tend to think exercise is normal and healthy, we may not notice that a loved one is overdoing it to compensate for something else.
Bulimia Isn’t Restricted to Young Girls Only
Historically, bulimia and other similar eating disorders have been seen to plague young women only, and especially Caucasian females.
This stereotype brought feelings of shame to Redif as she went into her late 20s as she felt that grown-ups shouldn’t be plagued by such issues.
However, as she later came to understand, bulimia can affect anyone and at any age, as numerous studies in both the US and the UK have revealed. NEDA reports that it is indeed true that more women suffer from the condition than men, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a female issue alone.
The association reports that of the total male population in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe, 0.1% of them are battling bulimia.
Dr. Rene Zweig says that the eating disorder, being a mental health issue, can affect anyone irrespective of their age, gender, ethnicity, weight, or socioeconomic group.
It Isn’t About Vanity
There’s also this school of thought that has people thinking that this eating disorder stems from the need to emulate petite celebrities. However, Redif categorically states that this is almost never the case.
If it were, wouldn’t someone snap out of bulimia if they just stopped worrying about being as thin as a certain celebrity?
As Dr. Zweig states, bulimia is a psychiatric condition. As we all know, these conditions are complex, and cannot just be wished away. Like all other mental health issues, bulimia nervosa is brought on by a synergy of genetical, environmental, and psychological factors.
Bulimia Can Be Life-Threatening
Dr. Zweig says that there’s this misconception that the only harmful eating disorder is anorexia. However, bulimia can just be as dangerous.
It can lead to anemia, dental erosion, sore throats, and in some cases, infertility. This is because the disorder brings about hormonal irregularities, which in turn affect the female reproductive system.
As to how it can be life-threatening, bulimia throws your electrolytes off-balance, a situation that can lead to cardiac arrest. Overeating can also rupture the stomach lining, leading to acid leaking into other parts of the body.
More in Mental Health
Porsha Williams Details the Heartbreaking Struggles She Endured During Pregnancy
TV personality Porsha Williams is glowing! And that’s saying a lot, considering that she just recently became a mom. Motherhood is...June 17, 2020
Situations When Anxiety Can Actually be Helpful
For most of us, stress is an unavoidable aspect of life. But despite the claims that stress is bad for health,...June 17, 2020
Does Elderberry Extract Quash Flu Symptoms? We’ve Got the Answer Right Here
Have you taken your flu shot yet? If not, you should, unless you want to be sneezing your way all through...June 17, 2020
The Most Common Medical Ailments Afflicting Older People
Enjoy your youth while you still can, but while at it, exercise, eat healthily and stay focused. That will not only...June 11, 2020
The Winter Itch: 5 Common Conditions That Are Secretly Irritating Your Skin
There are definitely various skin types, but the one thing that unites them is that at one point or another, they...June 11, 2020
Scientists Test a New Alzheimer’s Therapy on Mice – Could It Work on Humans?
More than 5.7 million people in America are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most prevalent form of dementia in the...June 11, 2020
Google Infringed on Healthcare Privacy of 50 Million Americans, Will It Come out Unscathed?
You can argue that privacy is practically nonexistent in the United States, but this argument falls short where the healthcare system...June 10, 2020
Choosing Your Plane Seat Wisely CAN Prevent Sickness, Latest Study Says
With the flu season in full swing, most people are concerned that the quickly-spreading sickness can get in the way of...June 10, 2020
A Healthy Gut Equals a Healthy You. Here’s Why
It is everyone’s wish to live a healthy and long life, but few of us are willing to take the measures...June 9, 2020