Who can suffer from bulimia? Anyone, from a princess to a pauper
23.12.2019 - Articles, Eating disorders, Mental health
Bulimia nervosa, commonly called bulimia, is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with bulimia may secretly binge — by eating large amounts of food with a simultaneous loss of control over the act of eating — and then purge, trying to dispose of the extra calories in an unhealthy way. Examples? Princess Diana, Jane Fonda, Elton John, Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato. But not just them. The following people are known to be or have been affected by bulimia: Geri Halliwell, Sharon Osbourne, Jordan Younger, Russell Brand, Paula Abdul, Calista Lockhart, Frank Bruni, Sally Field, Susan Dey, Katie Couric, and so on, and so forth…
Who is at risk of bulimia?
Anyone, from a princess to a pauper, can fall victim to these life-altering — and life-threatening — mental illnesses. Neighbours, friends, lovers, acquaintances — even celebrities, the people we admire as stars; the most powerful, or the most beautiful among us, are or have been afflicted. This has been confirmed by their own accounts, by experts, statistical data and scientific publications.
Bulimia is one of the most common illnesses related to eating disorders.
Information collected from different sources shows that 1.1% to 4.6% of women and 0.1% to 0.5% of men will develop symptoms characteristic of bulimia during their lives. Bulimia primarily touches groups for which a very slim figure is beneficial, such as those involving modelling or acting. The first episode of self-induced vomiting and the realisation that this is an effective method of weight control is often very important for the development of a disorder that can disrupt life for years.
The Annual Review of Clinical Psychology reveals that 50-80% of the risk for anorexia and bulimia is genetic, while Biological Psychiatry claims that 1.5% of American women suffer from bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.
Statistics confirm that the situation is bad — about 70 million people worldwide suffer from eating disorders.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reports that in the United States a patient dies every 62 minutes on average as a result of complications related to eating disorders, while the mortality rate connected to this type of illnesses is the highest among all mental disorders.
Even more? Nearly 1 in 10 bulimia patients have a comorbid substance abuse disorder, usually, alcohol use and more than half of bulimia patients have comorbid anxiety disorders.
What characterises bulimia?
Uncontrolled attacks of hunger lead to many psychological disorders, such as anxiety or neuroses, and a variety of mood disorders. The most common response of a person suffering from the illness is an attempt to restore control over the body – through dieting, physical exercise, and self-induced vomiting. However, the guilt that accompanies bulimia leads to withdrawing from social interactions, changing life plans and often reaching for abusive substances such as drugs and alcohol.
How does bulimia affect your life? Can bulimia kill?
– In extreme cases, bulimia can even lead to death. Characteristic symptoms of bulimia include parotid gland enlargement and tooth enamel erosion.
Bulimia is the most harmful to the digestive system. As a result of fatigue and regular vomiting, the afflicted exhibit body injuries and organ damage. It can result in:
- posterior pharyngeal wall damage,
- oesophageal damage, or even rupture,
- oesophageal and gastric erosion,
- chronic pancreatitis,
- posterior pharyngeal wall erosion,
- dental caries and gingivitis,
- parotid enlargement,
- ulcers located on the back of the hand, as well as dry skin and stretch marks,
- in women, bulimia can also result in amenorrhoea and fertility problems.
In order to break the vicious cycle of compulsive eating and purging, the patient must be put under a nutrition specialist’s care, supported by psychological and pharmacological therapy.
Changing the perception of the body and recognising the sources of the sickness is a complicated process, which we control at every stage at TKP. Detailed laboratory and environmental analyses help us to present a unique treatment plan and meet your personal needs. Individualised care enables flexibility in the achievement of the best possible results, always in total privacy and the maximum comfort of our luxury residential rehabilitation centre.
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