Bulimia

Bulimia is an eating disorder that is characterized by extreme overeating (bingeing) followed by self-induced vomiting. Often, but not always, bulimia is associated with anorexia, in which bingeing and dieting are both carried out to extremes.

What To Consider

Bulimics may be thin, normal, or slightly underweight. If anorexia is part of the eating disorder, there will be extreme loss of body weight. Bingeing and vomiting may occur several times a day, after most meals, or less frequently. Gastric symptoms, loss of menstruation, swollen face and neck especially after coming out of bathroom after eating meals, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, poor cold tolerance, severe food cravings, excessive exercise habits, poor stress coping skills, depression, and even suicidal tendencies may also occur in cases of chronic or severe bulimia. Vomiting exposes the teeth to gastric juice and there may be dental erosion. Using the hand to force vomiting may cause callouses on the back of the hands where the skin hits the teeth during the procedure.

Since bulimia is often performed in "secret," the rate of occurrence is not fully established. However, it is much more prevalent in women between the ages of 12 and 30.

Nutrient deficiencies (especially zinc), food allergies, and amino acid imbalances can all result from or contribute to bulimia, and therefore should be screened for. In addition, although in both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, the underlying causative factors are commonly believed to be solely due to an obsession with body fat, a fear of being (or becoming) fat, or over-concern with perfectionism and are indeed important, recent studies also show that in most cases, an underlying zinc deficiency may contribute to both disorders.

Self-Care Tips

Diet
A whole foods diet with regular eating patterns is very important. Also avoid all products containing sugar and white flour, and be sure to obtain sufficient protein sources to adequately nourish the body.

Nutritional Supplementation
Liquid ionic multi-mineral complex and multivitamin complex supplements can help overcome the extreme vitamin and mineral deficiencies associated with binge and purge eating and overuse of laxatives. Complex amino acids can also assist in balancing blood sugar levels, which helps reduce food cravings.

Flower Essences
Various essences can be useful for addressing the underlying emotional and mental states of imbalance and negativity such as fears, perfectionism, manipulative behavior, depression, and anxiety. Crab Apple is particularly useful for coping with obsessive habits relating to body image.

Homeopathy
Calc carb., Ipecac., and Graphites are useful remedies for bulimia.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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