Bulimia Nervosa Symptoms And Treatment
Bulimia is a nutritional disorder, characterized by excessive eating. The regular bulimic person will engage in excessive eating followed by induced vomiting.Other means of sudden weight loss consist of excessive workouts, consumption of laxatives or any other pills which contribute somewhat to the matter in cause. Bulimia has a very unclear etiology, but it is believed that the most frequent factors which contribute to its appearance are of a social nature (e.g. peer-pressure, envy upon admiring another person with a slender figure).
Bulimia nervosa symptoms:
- Excessive appetite and engaging in a large food consumption;
- Weight loss over the quantity of food consumed in a short amount of time;
- Thought of guilt after consuming a large amount of food;
- Continuous denial when asked about eating habits;
- Erosion of front teeth;
- Enlargement of salivary glands.
Bulimia nervosa is hard to diagnose due to the majority of normal weight bulimic patients. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to all patients who might come in complaining for stomach problems due to excessive vomiting, fatigue and/or nutritional advice due to weighing less or more than normal.
The treatment of bulimia shall be done by the physician, a psychologist/psychiatrist-depending on the case and a nutritionist. There is no need for hospitalization unless there are some severe problems concerning the digestive tract.
The main steps to be taken are:
- Psychological counseling;
- 3 meals a day with 2 snacks, without any extra diets;
- Reducing worries about the physical appearance;
- Interpersonal therapy with the role of making the patient deal with his personal problems in order to remove the bulimic problems;
- Group therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the optimal treatment. Therapy involves about 20 individual sessions over 5 months. Treatment aims to increase motivation for change, replace dysfunctional dieting with a regular and flexible pattern of eating. CBT eliminates binge eating in 30% to 50% of patients. Improvement is shown to be maintained on the long-term.