Medical Issues Due To Anorexia, Bulimia And Binge-Eating (Watch Out For Your Loved Ones)

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Anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating are just some of the eating disorders identified at this time. Each type has their unique symptoms, but all these mental health disorders can lead to a person’s life-threatening state and fatality. It is essential that once these illnesses are detected, help should be extended immediately. It is necessary to avoid further complications that might turn into one’s bitter end, especially if the person affected is your loved one, your spouse or partner.

The same advertisements that target “healthy” behaviors can trigger life threatening “unhealthy” behaviors in others, especially in the teenagers who struggle to fit in with their peers. — Dawn Delgado LMFT, CEDS-S

Medical Issues Arising From Anorexia

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a person who is eating a tiny amount of food or getting into backbreaking physical work out even if there’s no food in their system. The purpose of doing such action is to prevent the body from accumulating fats. The person denies her own body from getting the nutrients she needs to keep it nourished. Doing this can lead to nutritional deficits and possible physical body breakdowns.

 

To be more specific, anorexia nervosa will restrict the body from getting the ideal calorie count it needs which then slows down the body functions. Heart rhythm irregularities and low blood pressure may take place which will then lead to heart failure. A woman’s menstruation would stop as the body will experience endocrine system changes. Aside from cardiovascular problems, the said disorder can also cause bone and kidney problems, as these organs and the systems were deprived of the ideal nutrients.

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The neurotransmitter dopamine enables us to stop eating and resist the urge to eat a second helping of dessert and conversely Dopamine triggers when to eat when we are indeed hungry. Dopamine function is altered for patients with Bulimia and Anorexia.  — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS

Bulimia Also Causes Medical Issues

Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia eat more than their usual consumption. Then after that, they would vomit everything they just ate. This is called the “binge and purge cycle” which may occur several days in a week for minor cases. In others with severe bulimia, the cycle happens several times in a day. As a result, these individuals become uncharacteristically underweight, but there are cases wherein they can be overweight. But despite the weight issue, bulimia can cause life-threatening conditions for anyone.

 

Due to the vomiting, some people get tooth decay and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), among other related disorders. These add problems to the body and the original health issue which is bulimia.

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Complications That Arise From Binge-Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder is the condition wherein the patient consumes food more than usual, but not purge the meal afterward. People with the said disorder can become obese, and as a result, there are complications like heart disease, high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol count, type 2 diabetes and conditions related to the gallbladder.

Combining psychotherapy with nutritional therapies and yoga provides an integrative approach to efficacy and empowers our clients in their recovery process. — Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP

Medical Issues Related To Co-Existing Psychiatric Disorders Like Depression, Anxiety, And OCD

The said diseases are found to be correlated with psychiatric disorders like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression. These conditions can be mild or severe. Studies also revealed that eating disorders are at times associated with substance and alcohol abuse. For people with eating disorders and at the same time substance abuse, infected pathogens can arise and risky behaviors are manifested as well.

 

Eating disorders are a huge concern, and this issue will further deepen once it is taken for granted. That is why it is best to face the problem head-on while it is still in its early stages so that it can quickly be eliminated in no time. If you suspect that your loved one has anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder, then you have to act fast. You need to do whatever it takes for your loved one to be checked in a hospital for vital signs and more. Therapy with an eating disorder specialist is also a requirement for immediate treatment.

Bulimia Nervosa – Binge-Purge Cycle And How To Stop It

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Bulimia nervosa afflicts approximately 4% of women and 0.5% of men in the US. Nearly 4% of those suffering from bulimia will die from the disease and nearly all struggling with the illness experience serious medical and/ or emotional effects. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.

Physical appearance has been a significant issue in this society where we live in – if you’re not that beautiful, the world can be cruel and unfair. In today’s modern society, this is so very true. And with that, people who are suffering from bulimia are the usual victims of this “slim is beautiful” stigma. If you are not slim, you are not IN. You won’t matter in this world where competition for beauty is given such importance by many.

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The Effects Of Bulimia Nervosa In Teens – Therapists Are Worried For The Girls

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In a world where there are beauty standards, a lot of teens are pressured into thinking on that’s how they are supposed to look, act, and portray themselves. The beauty industry has set an impossible situation for teens and young adults that results in both physical and mental health problems. This leave therapists worried about these girls and you should too. In this article, we will be talking about the effects of bulimia nervosa to teens and why this illness is on the rise.

Bulimia nervosa afflicts approximately 4% of women and 0.5% of men in the US. Nearly 4% of those suffering from bulimia will die from the disease and nearly all struggling with the illness experience serious medical and/ or emotional effects. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.

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How The Consequences Of Bulimia And Its Treatment Involve The Family

Eating disorders involve problems with the perception and consumption of food, and it affects more than just individuals; family members can readily feel its effects. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, which involves drastic reductions in food intake, and bulimia nervosa, which entails episodes of binge-eating followed by laxative consumption or induced vomiting.

People who have eating disorders are typically obsessed with attaining a certain weight or body physique, and many have strongly unfavorable views of their bodies. This negative self-image pushes them to take extreme measures to achieve their desired shape. Without treatment, bulimia and other eating disorders can cause permanent damage to the body as well as progression into more mental disorders such as depression.

Eating disorders such as bulimia typically affect teens and young adults, and the family is thus directly affected by its consequences. Family members might blame themselves or feel guilty about the condition, but it is important to realize that it is not their fault unless they fuel the negative self-image of the person.

Family members are at the best position to detect bulimia, offer support, and deliver treatment, so they are one of the key players in the person’s recovery. However, some treatment options do not consider the crucial roles that the family plays, underscoring the need for greater awareness of how the family can help against bulimia.

The Basics Of Bulimia

Bulimia is a potentially dangerous mental condition that can cause lasting physical and psychological damage. As mentioned before, it occurs in people that have an extreme desire to lose weight and to attain their desired body image. It is important to note here that they might still perceive themselves as too large or heavy even when they are already dangerously underweight. The condition distorts their ability to assess their self-image accurately, and this can be compounded by peer pressure, especially if other people constantly bully them for being too fat.

Bulimia nervosa afflicts approximately 4% of women and 0.5% of men in the US. Nearly 4% of those suffering from bulimia will die from the disease and nearly all struggling with the illness experience serious medical and/ or emotional effects. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.

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People with bulimia will freely eat food instead of starving themselves like those with anorexia nervosa. However, their mindset is that they need to remove the calories they have consumed, which they usually do by inducing themselves to vomit, taking large doses of laxatives, or exercising vigorously for extended periods. Bulimia is different from other eating disorders in that many people who have the condition have normal weights or are slightly overweight, which is why observations from family members are essential in helping to get a proper diagnosis.

How Bulimia Can Impact Family Relationships

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The condition heavily impacts the family members of those who have bulimia. They might feel guilty for allowing it to progress or believe that they have given inadequate support to their loved one. While many of the causes of bulimia involve how the family has treated the loved one in the past, it is not usually the intention of family members to have their loved one develop bulimia. Unless family members have been intentionally mistreating their loved one or have displayed violent behaviors, they are not to blame. However, this does not apply to dysfunctional families who have created toxic conditions that allowed extreme insecurity to take hold.

The behaviors might get downplayed or even flat out denied by the person who is trying to sustain them. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

Other families are affected in different ways by having a member who has bulimia. Some may not acknowledge the mental condition, resorting to admonishing or punishing their loved one for engaging in behaviors which they think are foolish and easily controlled. Some may also react with anger due to the impact of bulimia on their lives; treatment can be expensive and time-consuming, and the condition can strain family relationships. Others may be ashamed, given the stigma that surrounds mental health still exists for some people. These responses may not be helpful to the person with bulimia, so treatments must be able to address them to ensure better outcomes.

Family-Based Interventions

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Treatment options for those who have bulimia often include constant monitoring as well as the administration of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication, since both anxiety and depression tend to go along with bulimia. Serious cases might require hospitalization to ensure that the person is still receiving proper nutrition. For less dangerous situations, intensive outpatient monitoring may be a viable option, and this will involve monitoring and vigilance on the part of the family to ensure that recovery takes place.

Denying the problem and thereby denying its effects are not uncommon. Patients sometimes lie also about the severity of their condition, further hampering the selection of appropriate treatment options. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS

A patient may also undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of treatment seeks to change the harmful behaviors of people with bulimia by helping them control their condition and identify strategies that work for them. Psychotherapy sessions may also be given to family members, educating them on proper ways to reach out to their affected loved one. The therapist will teach them how to care for the patient actively, and they will also address any lingering family issues. This intervention allows the family to become a more effective support system for their loved one, further hastening recovery and preventing relapses.

Here’s What Psychiatry Has To Say:  5 Reasons Why Bulimia Is Actually More Serious Than You Think 

Bulimia is an eating disorder that has been highly stigmatized for being either just a phase or a narcissistic tendency. Bulimic patients can go from binge-eating large amounts of food and then throwing them up after feeling guilty about eating too much, so they induce vomiting. They would also resort to other methods of losing weight such as unreasonable fasting, enemas, use of laxatives and diuretics, and excessive exercise.

 

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What is Body Shaming?

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Magazines, social media, TV shows and other platforms always offer advice, articles, and motivation on how to lose weight abruptly, recommends various diet plan to optimize weight loss, and ways how to appear thinner, etc. At first glance, this feature on diet and exercise are completely harmless but with this constant bombarding of ideas that slimmer is better, one may start being self-critical with their body weight, body shape, and size.

 …people who restrict will obviously begin to lose weight, wear baggier clothing to hide it, move their food around on the plate but not eat it, chew food and spit it out. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

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