In this post, we argue why bulimia must not be trivialized. We also discuss the warning signs of Bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia for short, refers to a physically draining and potentially dangerous eating disorder.
Bulimics are often caught up in a seemingly endless trap of overeating and then purging of food. This cycle takes its toll from an emotional and physical standpoint.
Bulimics suffer from a condition known as binge eating or overeating. In one sitting, bulimics may eat a large quantity of food. After this food is consumed, much of this food is purged via unhealthy and often unnatural methods.
These methods of purging food include:
- Diuretic pills
- Forced vomiting
- Excessive exercise
It must be noted that none of the above is conducive or compatible with healthy living.
Why is bulimia trivialized?
Bulimia is often difficult to detect. This is because those suffering from bulimia may have perfectly healthy body weight. Also, many of the classic outward signs associated with mental health problems are often absent when it comes to bulimia. For instance, those suffering from bulimia may be successful in their career and have many friends.
It’s perhaps not surprising to learn that it is common for medical professionals to trivialize bulimia. This attitude is one reason why those suffering from bulimia may struggle to gather the confidence to reach out for help.
One reason why bulimia is often diminished in people’s perception is that it is often compared with anorexia. In contrast with bulimia, people suffering from anorexia experience visible health problems such as being underweight.
We suggest that people focus on the underlying mental issues that cause people to suffer from both bulimia and anorexia when comparing the two. For instance, sufferers of both illnesses are known to be paralyzed with the fear of weight gain. This fear motivates sufferers of anorexia and bulimia to seek out unhealthy and unnatural ways of losing weight. The difference between anorexia and bulimia is merely the method of losing that weight.
What are the warning signs of Bulimia?
Below, we outline 10 of the most common physical and psychological warning signs of bulimia:
- An obsession/preoccupation with food
- Purging of food using diarrhea, diuretic pills and starvation
- Trips to the bathroom after eating
- Extreme exercise
- Thin and clear teeth due to acid corrosion from vomiting
- Swollen cheeks and jaws
- Blood vessels in the eyes
- Knuckle scrapes from induced vomiting
- Distorted body image
Why it’s dangerous to trivialize bulimia
Admittedly, it’s easy to diminish the dangers of bulimia because this illness’s symptoms are not outwardly visible. However, we must learn about the health risks associated with bulimia to truly appreciate why it’s unfair and potentially dangerous for medical professionals to trivialize bulimia. We are confident that after you have learnt these health complications caused by bulimia, you will think twice before you trivialize this illness yourself.
Below, we list the health risks related to bulimia:
- Purging food causes dehydration which may lead to kidney damage and fainting
- Purging food may cause inflammation of the oesophagus
- When bulimics purge food on a regular basis, they are likely to experience chronic acid reflux
- Purging may cause electrolyte imbalance and altered metabolism which can, in turn, trigger heart problems such as a cardiac arrest and arrhythmia
- Binging stretches the stomach. This may cause the stomach to tear, which allows stomach acid to spill into surrounding body parts
Below, we share an infographic about the symptoms of bulimia. Please share this infographic on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter if possible to spread awareness about the information contained within this infographic: