While anorexia is one of the more well known eating disorders, it is actually bulimia that is the most common eating disorder. According to Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) there an estimated of 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women will have bulimia at one point in their lifetime. Bulimia which is formally called bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by binge eating followed by purging the food in ways such as abusing laxatives/diuretics, exercising obsessively, or inducing vomiting.
What makes bulimia such a hard eating disorder to stop is the fact that it is hard to notice. Anorexia by nature is easier to spot because it is categorized as people with a weight loss of 15% or more of the ideal body weight caused by self starvation. In contrast, people who have bulimia maintain a normal weight making it hard to spot at a first glance. Johns Hopkins state that some warning signs and symptoms of Bulimia include:
- Rapidly eating large amounts of food, often alone or secretively (binge-eating)
- A sense of loss of control over eating
- Excessive dissatisfaction with body shape and weight
- Feelings of shame and secrecy concerning bulimic behaviors
- Self-induced vomiting or intermittent starvation
- Excessive exercise
- Abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or diet pills
If you notice someone exhibiting these symptoms start engaging them in conversation asking about their eating habits and their motives behind it. As stated in earlier posts, watching what you eat and exercise is not the issue. The issue is the reason and the approach. If you or a loved one is or believes that they may be experiencing bulimia nervosa please reach out and seek help.
~Be mindful of the mind