Health & Fitness

How to get rid of bulimia? Find a solution

Bulimia nervosa is an eating pattern in which a person uses food to cope with stressful situations. Most people have experienced bulimia in their lifetime, which can manifest in eating chips when bored or chocolate after a hard day’s work.
If bulimia is repeated many times, it has become a person’s primary way of coping with emotions. It can negatively affect various aspects of a person’s life and health.

Bulimia nervosa, also known as simply bulimia, is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging or fasting, and excessive concern with body shape and weight. The aim of this activity is to expel the body of calories eaten from the binging phase of the process. Binge eating refers to eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time. Purging refers to the attempts to get rid of the food consumed. This may be done by vomiting or taking laxatives.

Other efforts to lose weight may include the use of diureticsstimulantswater fasting, or excessive exercise. Most people with bulimia are at a normal weight. The forcing of vomiting may result in thickened skin on the knuckles, breakdown of the teeth and effects on metabolic rate and caloric intake which cause thyroid dysfunction. Bulimia is frequently associated with other mental disorders such as depressionanxietyborderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and problems with drugs or alcohol. There is also a higher risk of suicide and self-harm. Clinical studies show a relationship between bulimia and vulnerable narcissism as caused by childhood ‘parental invalidation’ leading to a later need for social validation.

Facts about bulimia nervosa

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Only mental issues are not the cause of bulimia nervosa; this disorder can also have physical reasons.

Stress and intense emotions usually cause bulimia nervosa.

Strategies for coping with negative emotions can help people reduce the most severe symptoms.

Stimulants to Avoid

Stress and other negative emotions are not the only triggers of bulimia nervosa. Other common triggers for bulimia are reported to include:

Boredom: Boredom and having nothing to do is one of the common triggers of bulimia nervosa. Many people lead busy lives, filling the void by eating when they have nothing to do.

Habits: The roots of these habits are usually nostalgia or childhood events. For example, this habit can be eating ice cream after getting the report card and being satisfied with the grades.

Fatigue: When you’re tired, especially when you’re exhausted from doing something unpleasant, it’s easier to overeat or eat for no reason. Eating is a person’s reaction to not wanting to continue doing a specific task.

Social Influence: Anyone can have friends or loved ones who invite them out for pizza after a career or academic success or ask them for dinner after a hard day’s work. It’s easier to overeat when you’re with others.

Coping strategies

The first step to overcoming bulimia is recognizing the triggers and situations he encounters. Having a diary to record what you eat will help identify these situations; Situations where you ate because of psychological issues and not because of hunger.

Tracking and evaluating behavior is another solution that helps to identify eating habits. This behavior can be recorded in the form of the following:

  • the pattern of hunger; For example, rating hunger from 1 to 10
  • People’s reactions to doing boring or unpleasant tasks
  • Determining the emotion, they are experiencing; Boredom or anger

The next step can be created by designing strategies to deal with identified triggers. For example:

  • A person who eats when they are bored may find it helpful to read a new and exciting book or take up a new and challenging hobby.
  • People who eat when stressed can take walks, do yoga, or meditate to help cope with their feelings.
  • For people who eat when their depression flares up, calling a friend or going for a short walk can help them cope with negative emotions.

You can also consult a therapist or psychologist about other strategies to deal with bulimia nervosa. Of course, a doctor or nutritionist can provide more information about creating positive eating habits and health-oriented nutrition and even refer you to a relevant specialist if necessary.

Lack of self-control means that people cannot control their feelings and emotions. It is not the case that all people who develop bulimia have a lack of self-control or that everyone who lacks self-control develops bulimia. This issue can have complex reasons, some of which include the following:

Childhood Education

For some people, bulimia is a behavior they learn in childhood. In childhood, parents feed children to cope with a difficult day or situation or as a reward for doing something good.

Over time, a child rewarded with a cookie after getting a good grade on a test may turn into an adult who invites himself to a box of cookies after a hard day’s work.

If bulimia is rooted in childhood, breaking the habit can be very challenging.

Having trouble dealing with emotions

Bulimia is common among those who have difficulty dealing with negative emotions and work hard to eliminate them. Humans instinctively need to get rid of negative emotions very quickly, and this instinctive need causes them to engage in unhealthy behaviors.

Of course, bulimia is not only associated with negative emotions. Pleasant emotions, such as attending parties, can also cause overeating.

Effects of stress on the body

The fact that stress and negative emotions cause overeating can be due to the effects they have on the body:

High Cortisol Levels: When stressed, your appetite first decreases so the body can cope with this situation. If the stress is not reduced, a hormone called cortisol is released. Cortisol increases appetite and can cause overeating.

Craving: The result of stress is an increase in the level of cortisol in the blood, and these high levels of cortisol cause a person to have a strong desire for fatty or sweet foods. On the other hand, stress is related to the increase in the secretion of hunger hormones, which can be effective in a person’s desire for unhealthy foods.

Gender: Some studies show that women prefer to eat more, and men prefer to smoke or consume alcohol to deal with stress.

The difference between physical hunger and mental hunger

Anyone can easily confuse mental hunger with physical hunger, but each has characteristics that distinguish them. Knowing these subtle differences can help you as the first step in dealing with bulimia nervosa.

Does the feeling of hunger develop quickly or gradually?

Psychological hunger develops quickly and suddenly, and you must react immediately. Usually, physical hunger is not so sudden, and the reaction to it can be delayed for some time. Of course, if a long time has passed since eating, this hunger will be more intense, and you will have to respond to it faster.

Have you developed a strong desire to eat a particular food?

Psychological hunger is usually associated with a strong desire to eat unhealthy and low-value foods. A physically hungry person usually eats anything to get full, but someone whose hunger is psychological will choose a particular food, such as French fries or pizza.

Have you experienced mindless eating?

Mindless eating occurs when a person eats without paying attention to what and how much they eat and without enjoying it—for example, eating a large bowl of ice cream while watching TV when you don’t want to eat that much ice cream. Mindless eating is a behavior that usually occurs when you are mentally hungry, not when you are physically hungry.

Where is the origin of the feeling of hunger? Head or stomach?

Mental hunger is not an emotion that starts in the stomach, and you notice it by the sound of your stomach, like physical hunger. Psychological hunger begins when people think about their strong desire and the specific food they want.

Do you feel remorse after eating?

Giving in to a strong desire for food and eating to cope with stress can lead to feelings of remorse and guilt, and this is a feeling that is related to psychological hunger. In contrast, responding to physical hunger means providing the body with nutrients and calories that are not associated with negative emotions.

Final point

Bulimia is a common experience and is usually unrelated to physical hunger. Some people give in to this tendency, but others pay attention to its adverse effects on physical and mental health and look for solutions to deal with it. Anyone whose eating habits cause negative feelings should consult a nutritionist or health care practitioner. To find the most effective strategies for dealing with bulimia nervosa, you need help.

OnlineMag24 Editorial Team

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