Bulimia is the act of binge-eating a lot of food followed by getting rid of it all to avoid gaining any weight. People usually do this in secret and can hide their disorder from everyone. It is unknown what causes Bulimia, but there are many factors that lead people to develop the disorder.
Bulimia is more common in females and it usually develops in late childhood or early adulthood. 4% of all females in the Unites States will develop it in their lifetime. 3.9% of those females will die. The human heart can not keep up with the vomiting or using laxatives as a way to get to get rid of food. This can lead to heart palpitations, arrhythmia, heart attacks, or even death. However, suicide is the most common cause of death for people who have the disorder. 4.7 million females and 1.5 million males will have their life threatened.
6% of people will get treatment. That’s about 1 in 10 people. Despite getting treatment, 30-50% of people will relapse. This can impact their health. Heart problems are what mainly affect people, but there are many other issues people will come in contact with. A few issues are:
- yellow/rotting teeth
- a sore throat
- stomach pains/bloody vomit
- dehydration/general weakness
- fertility issues
This can make day to day living hard. People who have been diagnosed and even people who haven’t will constantly watch their weight making sure they haven’t gained too much. If they feel as though they have, they will purge.
Well, why don’t you just stop making yourself sick?
It’s not that easy. Bulimia is a type of mental disorder. People can’t just stop, they believe that if they don’t purge they will gain a whole bunch of weight. They won’t actually gain a lot of weight, but their brain is telling them they will. That’s why they can’t just stop. Their brain is telling them that if they stop, they will become fat.
There are steps you can take to help someone struggling with Bulimia. If you or someone you know is suffering, please don’t be afraid to get help.