Nowadays more and more women suffer from such disease as bulimia. Bulimia is a disease based on a neuropsychic disorder manifested in uncontrolled consumption of food, concentration on food, calories, weight. The patient suffers from attacks of unquenchable hunger, uses the means to lose weight, takes laxatives, induces vomiting. Bulimics are characterized by low self-esteem, guilt, excessive self-criticism, a distorted view of their own weight. In the severe stage, bulimia leads to a sharp fluctuation in weight (5 to 10 kg up and down), swelling of the parotid gland, chronic throat irritation, chronic fatigue and muscle pains, teeth loss. It is very important to notice the problem at once and start treating it as quickly as possible.
- Step number 1: Check out which symptoms of bulimia you have
- Step number 2: Define which type of bulimia you have
- Step number 3: Start psychoanalytic therapy
- Step number 4: Use medication and consider hospitalization in case of severe stage of bulimia
- Step number 5: Take preventive measures not to have bulimia relapse
Step number 1: Check out which symptoms of bulimia you have
The very first step towards recovery from bulimia is the recognition of having bulimia symptoms. As soon as the patient realizes that he is ill and has real problems associated with his attitude to food, he should start immediate treatment.
The most noticeable symptoms of bulimia are: taking large amounts of food (large portions, a large variety of dishes), poor chewing of food, fast paced eating. These signs should alert others, the sooner the disease is revealed, the faster and easier the process of recovery will take and the lesser harm the patient will be able to inflict on his health.
Sure that if you have only one problem from the mentioned list like, for example, negative attitude to appearance or excessive appetite, it is not 100% bulimia but if you have several symptoms, which make your eating habits differ from what they were before, it is necessary to start the treatment course. Check out the main characteristic features of bulimia here:
- negative attitude to appearance;
- excessive concern with the sight of the body;
- frequent and excessive fluctuations in weight;
- acute attacks of excessive appetite;
- psychological disorders (depression, insomnia, stress);
- uncontrolled use of diuretic and emetic drugs;
- inability to control one’s feelings.
Bulimia is characterized by a person’s wrong attitude to food intake, namely overeating. In the course of the disease, a person experiences periodic attacks of uncontrolled hunger. It would seem that it can be bad in good and nutritious nutrition, but at such times the patient absorbs an incredibly large amount of food, which leads to eating disorders, which manifest themselves in the form of abdominal pain. That’s why, the patient may conduct various purification procedures, among which there is artificial vomiting, taking diuretics or laxatives, starvation, excessive physical activity, etc. However, it is wrong to think that they are useful.
Important: If you have noticed at least some of the mentioned symptoms of bulimia in you or people you know don’t ignore the problem as it will be more difficult to treat it if start not immediately. The faster you react and ask for help, the quicker you will overcome bulimia.
Step number 2: Define which type of bulimia you have
Such an insidious disease as bulimia can manifest itself in completely different ways. The nature of manifestations of bulimia symptoms depends, as a rule, on the factors that affected the development of the disease. Sometimes bulimia manifests itself paroxysmally, the patient can feel an uncontrolled feeling of hunger one or several times a week, and at other times have a normal healthy diet. There are cases when the patient feels hunger constantly and needs food permanently. During the course of the disease, the patient can’t enjoy the food and is practically unable to feel its taste and smell. At the same time he is actively developing the gnawing state of guilt for the fact that he cannot stop eating food in large quantities.
In medical practice, bulimia is divided into two types: Bulimia nervosa and Bulimia of the pubertal period.
Patients from 25 to 30 most often suffer from Bulimia nervosa. The causes of the development of bulimia nervosa are psychological disorders. Most often, bulimia leads to constant stress, huge psychological stress, depression. Facing failures and dissatisfaction a person begins to eat much. It is in food, such a person, begins to see the possibility of stress relief, psychological stress. Food becomes a kind of cure for all mental suffering and distress. Quite often, the development of bulimia nervosa leads to: lack of privacy; dissatisfaction in personal life; low self-esteem.
Bulimia of the pubertal period is inherent in children of adolescence. Bulimia in children can also be caused by disliking yourself, your body, etc. Against the background of hormonal changes in adolescence, children, especially girls, are too sensitive and emotional. In order to have a beautiful, in their opinion, appearance, many resort to various eating disorders.
There is one more common classification of bulimia:
- Classical or otherwise cleansing type. After a serious overeating, the patient regularly causes artificial vomiting or excessive amounts of laxatives, enemas or diuretics.
- Bulimia as the second stage of anorexia. The patient actively uses other compensating behaviors, for example, fasting or active physical training. In this case, the patient does not provoke a regular gag reflex and does not abuse various laxatives, enemas or diuretics.
Important: Teen bulimia is characterized by alternation of prolonged starvation with uncontrolled overeating. It is necessary to be very careful with kids who are prone to eating disorders as it is extremely dangerous for children.
Step number 3: Start psychoanalytic therapy
Various herbal teas, herbal decoctions are certainly beneficial to the body. Green tea with mint calms the nervous system and tones, promotes the normalization of the heart and respiratory organs, which is why so many food addicts love it. But all these “miraculous” remedies will not help you cure bulimia. You can only reduce symptoms for a while. But uncontrolled attacks of hunger with bulimia do not arise because of the natural needs of the body, and it is impossible to cope with them with the help of products that satisfy hunger.
That’s why the most effective method of treating bulimia is a comprehensive approach. This technique includes:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy,
- and psychoanalytic therapy.
A successful recovery may take a considerable amount of time. The process of recovery can last for months or even years. Of course, the main key to recovery is the patient’s stabilized psycho-emotional state.
Special bulimic psychoanalysis helps patients to intelligently understand and work out the conflicts and deficiencies that provoke the symptoms of this mental disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy includes standard elements of therapy of the patient’s behavior.
This includes the definition, concentration and change of mental erroneous models, psychological attitudes and opinions, since it is these aspects that cause and exacerbate bouts of gluttony, or even a complete refusal to eat.
Monitoring the amount of food intake is one of the most important elements of therapy. After the observations, stimulants are identified that cause attacks of uncontrolled eating of food. Also, ways of suppressing these stimulants or the possibility of developing counterreactions to them are determined.
Interpersonal psychotherapy is mainly focused on problems of relationships between people, self-confidence, self-esteem, communication skills and competent solutions to these problems.
The main task of the family is to help each other to change those factors that often influence the development, progression of some pathologies of mental activity of the patient with bulimia. At a time when the patient is recovering, group therapy is very effective. Communication in the group will allow participants to share personal experience with each other, to tell about known methods, methods of overcoming this malicious ailment. Among other things, good help to others can significantly enhance personal self-esteem. Of course, in this case the group must necessarily be led by a professional leader who has undergone compulsory training.
Important: A very important aspect in solving this problem is family therapy.
Step number 4: Use medication and consider hospitalization in case of severe stage of bulimia
Significantly the number of people suffering from bulimia may experience various kinds of depressions, the symptoms of which are due to the use of antidepressants.
Currently, Fluoxetine is approved for the treatment of bulimia. This antidepressant can not only reduce the frequency of numerous bouts of gluttony, but also ensure the patient’s desire to release his stuffed stomach with vomiting.
In some cases, immediate hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital is necessary in the treatment of bulimia:
- when anorexia is accompanied by bulimia,
- when the weight loss is over 20% of normal.
It is very important to appoint competent treatment in the early stages of the course of bulimia, which will combine the psychotherapeutic effects and medication. A prerequisite is the work of the therapist with the patient’s family, as well as the continued supervision of the therapist for the patient at home.
Treatment of bulimia usually begins with the first meeting of the patient with a psychotherapist. In hospital, psychotherapy is provided by the staff of a medical institution.
Psychotherapeutic work is primarily aimed at changing the patient’s ideas about weight, which the patient considers ideal. In addition, it is necessary to adjust the ways of maintaining this weight and help in the formation of skills of reasonable, rational nutrition. The doctor needs to reach an understanding of the role of the patients with problems of a personal and emotional nature, explain to the patient the violation of eating behavior.
After these discussions, the appropriate arrangements, diet and day regimen are discussed. To make the patient diligently fulfill all the requirements of medical personnel, the patient can be encouraged by various means. Junior staff regularly maintains a separate patient observation sheet, in which, in addition to nutrition, physiological indicators are also noted.
Important: Adhering to the framework of explanatory psychotherapy, the doctor must necessarily explain to the patient the need for undergoing treatment in a hospital.
Step number 5: Take preventive measures not to have bulimia relapse
A patient with bulimia at certain stages of recovery may feel that he/she is already healthy or vice versa, that recovery will never occur. But this is not so, in the presence of a strong desire, the disease can be defeated and prevented the occurrence of relapses in the future. And the most important thing is to never forget – life and health are worth fighting for.
There are general rules, which will help to avoid eating disorders relapse after you have got the course of bulimia treatment. If you take all preventive measures listed below, you won’t suffer from bulimia.
6 Effective Measures to Prevent Bulimia Relapse:
- Lead a healthy lifestyle: Active lifestyle supposes physical exercises and healthy nutrition. There is no need to keep to any special diet but to include many vegetables and fruit in your daily ration. Avoid bakery and fried dishes as well as fast food)
- Love yourself and your body as it is: Understand that each person is unique and each kg is yours and you should do your best to look as you want but to realize that you can benefit from diets and physical exercises only if your actions are reasonable.
- Do not seek consolation in delicious food (sweet, salty): It is necessary to understand that food doesn’t have such a magic property like solving problems in all spheres of life. Food is meant for the normal functioning of our body and that’s it. It doesn’t have any more functions and supernatural properties to help you deal with depression or any other problems you have. That’s why don’t overeat as in case you eat too much you will get one more problem called bulimia.
- Do not abuse alcohol: It is well-known that alcohol is harmful for our body, especially if in large amounts. It has a negative on all internal organs and may have a negative impact on behavior and psycho-emotional condition.
- In cases of severe stress or depression, seek help from a therapist: In case you realize that it is difficult for you to overcome stress on your own it is much better to ask for professional help than to use food as a remedy from depression.
- Do not abuse drugs for weight loss: Weight loss should be regulated only with the help of healthy diet and not drugs.
Important: Do not use diuretics and laxatives if they haven’t been prescribed by a doctor. Before using any medications it is recommended to get the consultation of a specialist.