Preventive Measures For Bulimia

By Cornelia Tjandra |
|5 min read

Do you often overeat in the presence of a delicious meal? It is absolutely natural. We are all prone to binge eating sometimes, especially when the weekends offer us various temptations. Although binge eating sometimes seems to be a natural habit, the tendency to throw up after eating hints at issues like bulimia. This eating disorder is often seen in people who have family or close relatives suffering from the same disorder and can be due to genetic influence. Bulimia leads to stress, anxiety, and in extreme cases, suicide. It is critical that you seek medical help if you come across any such symptoms. While the problem can be serious, proper cognitive therapy can rescue you from such adversities! You should not feel the need to throw up after overeating as this can be dealt with by much healthier means.

What is Bulimia?

Bulimia is a dangerous eating disorder involving overeating in the form of binge eating followed by purging. Binge eating refers to excessive indulgement of high-calorie foods in a short span of time or in a stipulated amount of time. This is followed by purging, the act of attempting to get rid of the consumed food. Generally, the patient tries to vomit after eating or consume laxatives to initiate the process. The type of bingeing involved in bulimia is characterized by sneaking intake of food either in a planned or unplanned manner and is often reported to take place in a completely different state of mind of the person suffering from the disease.

The exact cause behind this disorder is yet to be cultivated. However, it is more commonly seen in women and girls in their adolescent or adult years more than their male counterparts. Bulimia is believed to develop due to both biological and psychological reasons. The biological reason involves genetic influences stemming from an eating disorder of a family member. It is also common among people who have remained overweight or suffered from obesity in their childhood. As much as it can have biological triggers, this critical eating disorder also seems to emerge from substance use disorder, anxiety or even depression. It can be caused by environmental stressors that largely affect the emotional health of a person. Its victims often feel low and bear negativities about themselves. Individuals who are extreme dieters are often victims of this unwanted disorder, where the danger lies in severe calorie restriction, leading to worsening health conditions.

Symptoms of Bulimia

Bulimia comes with a series of dangers to our health, as already mentioned above. Biological and emotional functions are disrupted and can begin to decay our quality of life. Symptoms of this disease can be identified as follows:

  • Dehydration: This indicates excessive loss of water from the body. Excessive forced vomiting leads to this issue and the patient can fall dangerously ill. The human body requires an appropriate amount of water to be retained in order to maintain good health.

  • Fatigue: Over-exercising is another symptom of bulimia. This can adversely affect the health of the patient as they go to extreme lengths to burn off calories after binge eating. This leads to fatigue, tiring out the muscles and weakening the body's ability to recover effectively.

  • Esophageal rupture: Vomiting is an integral part of this disease. Attempting to extract extra food by vomiting forcibly leads to tearing or inflaming the esophageal region and harming the upper area of the mouth. Hence, the entire digestive system is compromised due to these extreme cases of forced vomiting.

  • Bulimia teeth: This is a symptom present on the teeth of the patient, which leads to tooth decay and staining. This is due to the vomiting of stomach acids forced out in the process.

  • Cardiac problems: This occurs when there is an acute electrolyte imbalance in the system. Symptoms include an irregular heartbeat which is a consequence of this eating disorder. Overeating also contributes to the patient's inability to digest food and vomit as a consequence.

  • Threats from laxatives: Although laxatives are ineffective in reducing weight, patients often use them as a means to achieve this goal. After prolonged use, effects include laxative-induced constipation, bloating, potassium depletion and abdominal discomfort.

Treating The Disorder

This life-threatening disorder must be treated at the earliest stage or when symptoms arise. The following treatment methods can reduce the risk of developing bulimia in patients:

  • Therapy: The best way to battle this disorder is systemic therapy in which the patients need to be involved. There are various kinds of therapies one can resort to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This innovative behavioral therapy ensures that patients can be rehabilitated into a normal life routine again. It helps patients identify the negative thought patterns in them and replace them with positive ones. A normal dietary routine can be restored through this process.

  • Group therapies: This involves both interpersonal and family therapy. These group therapies involve people from different realms of the patient's life in order to cure them of their disorder. Family-based treatment involves parental intervention into the lives of their adolescent children to control and manipulate their dietary habits. Interpersonal therapy ensures that the patient communicates with a close community that helps them to solve their problems all by themselves.

  • Medications: Medications are also required to treat this disorder. Antidepressants are administered in order to treat bulimia along with psychotherapy. Floxacin (Prozac) is the only antidepressant that is advised by the Food and Drug Administration. This is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) which will help prevent depression in the patient.

  • Nutrition education: This is important since a proper diet is required to maintain health. Dietitians can design a proper diet and curb hunger and unwanted cravings, resulting in regular meal intake and preventing dangerous calorie restrictions. Thus, it is important that a dietitian is present in the process.


Bulimia which involves throwing up after eating is an extremely painful disease. It must be treated as soon as possible in order to lead a healthy life. This condition not only affects biological functions in a detrimental way but deteriorates the psychological condition. For a healthy life, you need to take all the necessary precautions!

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