Bulimia is an eating disorder that is usually associated with binging and purging. It is usually as a result of the urge to stay thin, and this brings about the uncontrollable habits linked to it. While only a few people understand bulimia well, most people don’t know what the disorder is. The following are five bulimia facts that will help you understand what it is;

5 Facts You May Not Know about Bulimia

1. It is a mental disorder

Bulimia is known as an eating disorder but what most people don’t know is that it is a mental disorder too. In the United States, bulimia checks the list of some of the most fatal mental disorders as reported by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANADA). A lot of people who suffer from this disorder have experienced suicidal thoughts and depression which are long-term health problems. If someone with bulimia is unable to control compulsive habits linked to the disorder, they may feel guilt and shame and this may aggravate depression.

2. Men are also affected

While the largest number of people who are affected by bulimia is female, studies have shown that men also suffer from the disorder. A report presented by ANADA has shown that at least 15 percent of the people reported with eating disorders are men. These men also tend to seek appropriate help less often and according to statistics, symptoms of bulimia show less in men.

3. Societal pressure may cause it

In the world we live in today, there are a lot of beauty standards that have been set by society. A lot of people especially women are likely going to want to reach those standards. As a result, most of them end up developing eating disorders like bulimia. Also, some young people may get such pressure from parents who suffer from bulimia. While some experts argue that bulimia is genetic, there is no proof to show that it is, but a home environment where a young person repeatedly watches their parent’s eating disorders may influence them.

4. May cause severe health problems

Compulsive habits linked to bulimia may have detrimental effects on one’s health. Binging and purging can affect your body in many ways considering the fact that it depends on healthy eating habits to function well. One of the most common consequences of bulimia is unhealthy weight loss. Other severe health consequences linked to the disorder include kidney failure, ulcers, irregular periods, low blood pressure, and anemia among others.

5. It is characterized by uncontrollable habits

Unlike anorexia where people limit the number of calories they take, people suffering from bulimia binge and purge. These compulsive habits are as a result of the obsession they have for body image and this forces them to take extreme measures in order to make changes to their weight. Bulimia and binge eating are both characterized by excessive eating in hiding, an action that is normally followed by feelings of guilt. Purging, which is characterized by excessive intake of laxatives or forced vomiting is what sets bulimia apart from binge eating.

(Last Updated On: March 11, 2021)

Annalise O'Conner is a Registered Dietitian and Personalized Nutritionist. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching nutrition in the School of Public Health and APAN (Asian Pacific Islander American Network) Email: [email protected]

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