Bulimia is an eating disorder involving recurrent binge eating. People with bulimia eat a great amount of food in a short time, much more than is normal in comparison with other people. Officially we can speak of bulimia when the binges appear for at least 3 months, 2 times a week. It is mainly women aged 10 to 30 who suffer from this mental illness. There is no obvious reason which causes this disease.
Many bulimia patients compensate for their binges because they are afraid to gain weight. Common behavior for bulimics is the use of laxatives or fasting in the days after a binge. So, a vicious circle of fixed periods which each culminating in binge eating again. Another compensatory behavior is the vomiting of food. After a binge, food is vomited again. The region has partly offset this behavior, usually by nothing. Bulimia patients generally have a healthy weight and hide their bingeing because there are ashamed.
People suffering from bulimia are constantly busy with their weight, their body and dieting. This behaviour will lead to binge eating which can't be controlled. The compensatory behavior afterwards can be very harmful to the body. Single worst effects include infertility, severe dental problems, cardiac arrhythmias and even death.
Pay attention to yourself and the people around you. Although bulimia patients are difficult to recognize, a lot of them will look for someone's support at some point. Try to see those signals and provide support where possible. This support can be provided mainly by talking. Do not try to understand this disease, it is useless to say that the person should not eat or to ask what that person eats. Try to understand his or her illness and encourage to seek professional help. It is incredibly difficult without help to break the pattern of bulimia. The earlier the disease is seen and the earlier professional help is called, the higher the chance for recovery.
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