The bulimic eats as does most anyone and maybe even more than normal, however, they then 'purge' themselves immediately after eating. The bulimic often rushes off to the bathroom, or they may even wait, 20 - 30 minutes till their alone, to make themselves vomit out what they just ate.
Most of the time, the eating disorder begins when the individual begins to binge and purge as part of a diet to lose weight. Soon, the cycle of binging and purging becomes firmly established, and the bulimic may feel incapable of stopping.
Most people understand that bulimia is characterized by an unhealthy binge and purge cycle. But many people don't realize that individuals afflicted with bulimia tend to consume many more calories in a smaller amount of time than most people.
For instance, the normal caloric intake for a woman may be somewhere around 2,000 to 3,000 calories in the course of one day. A person suffering from bulimia may consume around 3,400 calories in two hours.
Obviously, this cycle of eating and then purging themselves is dangerous. To begin with, eating such a large amount of food in a relatively short amount of time can greatly upset the body's digestive system, and purging only further disrupts the digestive organs.
There are also a number of social and financial implications. The individual may isolate themselves from friends and family in order to binge and purge, and they may spend money each day in order to purchase food for their sessions of binging and purging.
The secretive nature of bulimia can make it particularly difficult to diagnose. Most bulimics develop the first symptoms of the disease during their early teens or 20s. Because bulimia can be relatively easy to hide, the individuals may not demonstrate overt signs of the disease until reaching their 30s or 40s.
Why is bulimia so hard to diagnose? Unlike most cases of anorexia where anorexics are easy to spot, bulimia is not physically evident, they're are few, if any, outward signs. Because most bulimics are able to maintain a healthy weight. They may even project a healthy image.
Many bulimics often seem to be healthy, successful "put together" individuals. In fact, many researchers have pointed to the "perfectionism" associated with bulimia. Many bulimics express a need to be "perfect" when it comes to their weight and appearance.
In addition to striving for perfection, some bulimics may also be privy to other types of compulsive behavior. Some doctors report that their bulimic patients are drawn to compulsive behaviors such as alcohol abuse, substance addiction, and shoplifting.
Clearly, bulimia can affect every part of a person's life. It is considered a serious health risk that needs to be treated as early as possible to prevent permanent health damage that may be irreversible.
If you find yourself or anyone around you know suffering from an eating disorder and want to know rehab for eating disorders, do you need it? Click on over to Mike Herman's site www.4HealthConcerns.com/EatingDisorders to get my newsletter and a free ebook in regards to eating disorders to help you and your loved ones.
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