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Bulemia in Teens

It is very rarely found in men. This is associated with a perceived loss of control of eating during that same time. The mere consumption of an unusually large amount of food in a defined period without concomitant perception of loss of control is defined as an overeating episode. Similarly, the consumption of rather minimal amounts of food in a defined period with a perception of loss of control is referred to as a subjective bulimic episode. Three Types of Bulimia 1. Simple Bulimia Nervosa is an illness that occurs around the age of 18 in girls. It usually caused by a break in relationship with a boyfriend. The girls that suffer from this, tend to have been mildly under confident and unassertive but come from a broad range of normal family backgrounds. 2. Anorexic Bulimia Nervosa is a variant of the illness that is preceded by a bout of Anorexia Nervosa. Quite often this anorexic episode is a brief one and the sufferer begins to recover without treatment. It is followed typically by a short period of stabilized weight just below that at which the menstruation may restart, around 46 kg. 3. Multi-impulsive Bulimia Nervosa is a severe variant of Bulimia Nervosa that begins in a similar way to Simple Bulimia and in a similar age group of girls. This group suffers with a range of abnormal behaviors all of which indicate problems of emotional and impulse control. Often some of these other behaviors are already causing difficulty before the Bulimia begins. Signs or Symptoms of Bulimia Signs that may indicate that there is a problem include a tendency to leave the table immediately after a meal. Vomiting is most frequently induced by forcing two fingers of the right hand down the throat. This often causes a chronic blister just below the knuckle where it rubs on the upper teeth. Repeated vomiting quite often leads to swelling of the salivary glands that show as soft swellings at the base of the ears or just under the chin. If it goes on for many years the swellings become hard and permanent. The following signs are listed by eating disorder * The individual feels like he/she does not have control over food. * The individual hides food in secret locations for use during binges. * The individual eats a great deal but does not seem to gain or lose a lot of weight. The individual takes laxatives and gives himself/herself enemas more than once a week. * The individual constantly complains about being “fat,” “obese,” or “huge.” * The individual has blood shot eyes. * The individual is constantly complaining of a sore throat. * Quantities of food seem to mysteriously disappear from their refrigerator and/or pantry. * The individual tends to have swollen glands in his/her neck and/or face. The individual abuses Ipecac Syrup, laxatives, diuretics, and/or diet pills. * The individual has started to excessively drink, smoke, abuse drugs, or spend money. * The individual is extremely defensive when questioned about his/her weight. * The individual’s tooth enamel is eroding and has increased cavities. * The individual has begun to wear extremely tight fitting, figure revealing clothes. * The individual has an enormous preoccupation with body weight and food. Effects of Bulimia * Dehydration, fluid and electrolyte imbalances * Vitamin and mineral deficiencies * Gastrointestinal problems * Chronic sore throats * Eruption of the esophagus * Tears in the lining of the stomach * Chronic Kidney problems/failure * Tooth decay * Irregular heartbeat that can lead to cardiac arrest * DEATH What causes Bulimia? Eating disorders may develop partly in response to difficult life experiences such as abuse or social pressures arising in puberty and in growing up. They are also more common in cultures where it is considered desirable to be slim. For example, in most countries in Africa, it is very rare to see an adolescent from Bulimia weight is admired in some cultures. And a thin body may mean malnutrition. Genetic factors seem to be important, especially in anorexia. Sometimes people with an eating disorder are depressed, and they may have obsessions. Treatment of Bulimia The first port of call is usually the family doctor. He may well have a good knowledge of the local possibilities for appropriate treatment. If specialist help is needed he should be consulted as to choice of person and place. Another source of unbiased advice is the Eating Disorders Association. The N.H.S. has a number of eating disorder units often based on teaching hospitals. Many of these are excellent but the quality is very patchy. They often have long waiting lists and it may take several months to wait for an assessment and longer to start an agreed course of treatment. Your general practitioner should be able to find out what the situation is locally quite easily Holly M. Boerne,TX

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