Would you believe that someone could be battling bulimia even though they don’t look alarmingly skinny?
Bulimia is a serious, life-threatening illness characterized by binge eating followed by purging, fasting, or excessive exercise. It often goes undetected because the signs are not as blatant as the symptoms of anorexia, which manifests mainly in extremely low body weight. People with bulimia can still fall within the normal weight range and feel intensely unhappy with their body figure such that they desperately want to lose weight.
Bulimia Goes Beyond the Way a Patient Looks
People may stereotype patients with eating disorders as extremely skinny or stick-thin. This isn’t always the case, though.
Like other eating disorders, bulimia centers around an individual’s obsession with body image and weight gain. But bulimics may be underweight or overweight; their body size may still be average despite attempts to reach an unrealistic body figure or weight.
In fact, the condition might lead to the opposite of the slim figure that patients with bulimia desire. The frequent consumption of high-calorie food, although routinely purged, may cause weight gain. Moreover, the condition might cause the abdomen to bloat.
Given this information, we can assume that detecting bulimia is not as easy as assessing someone’s body figure. Instead of just assuming that someone who looks alarmingly thin has an eating disorder, we have to pay attention to other symptoms:
- Eating uncontrollably and purging after
- Inducing vomiting after meals
- Abusing laxatives or diuretics
- Exercising to the point of exhaustion
- Fasting or starving one’s self for long periods
Bulimia may also result in mouth-related symptoms, such as sore throats and dental problems.
Treatment will take a long time because the condition affects the physical as well as the psychological well-being of an individual. Treatment must also address other conditions closely linked with the eating disorder and body image distortion.
Bulimia May Not Occur Alone
Bulimia is already a serious condition, but it does not always occur alone. People with bulimia may also suffer from other conditions, such as mood disorders, anxiety, depression, or substance dependence.
Patients with bulimia may also experience other dangerous side effects, such as stomach ulcers, a ruptured stomach, muscular fatigue, and constipation. Women patients may experience irregular periods. In the worst case scenario, the condition may lead to sudden heart failure.
To address bulimia and the other conditions linked with it, people have to be more open to the idea that not everyone with an eating condition is stick-thin. This stereotype is what leads to a potentially large number of undetected cases of bulimia.
Break Free from Bulimia
The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health provides a bulimia treatment program in Westport, CT. We teach patients to identify and understand the reasons behind their eating behaviors so that we can help them develop healthy coping skills.
Our treatment plan lets you take back control of your thoughts and break free from bulimia. We know that the healing process does not happen overnight. So, we foster a safe and supportive environment that encourages you to heal mentally and physically at your own pace. Make an appointment with us, today.