In today’s picture perfect model society – so people find themselves forced to extremes, and would rather deal with the day to day trauma of bulimia to fit in.
In the U.S., there is a lot of emphasis placed on appearance, including body weight and size. People are conditioned from a very young age to believe their self-worth is derived from these external characteristics. Unfortunately, this has created a culture where 80 percent of women today are dissatisfied with their appearance, and at least 11 million Americans – both men and women – suffer from eating disorders, like bulimia.
Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge eating (the consumption of a lot of food quickly), followed by purging (including self-induced vomiting, the use of laxatives or diuretics, or fasting or over-exercising). It is important to distinguish bulimia from other eating disorders that involve binging, as the symptoms can have different psychological and physical effects.
The binge-purge cycles of bulimia can affect the entire digestive system, and can lead to chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organs. Some of the resulting health consequences can include:
• Irregular heartbeat, heart failure and death
• Gastric rupture
• Esophageal rupture
• Tooth decay and staining
• Peptic ulcers and pancreatitis
In addition, bulimia often results in many of the same health risks that are associated with clinical obesity, including:
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Heart disease
• Type II diabetes
• Gallbladder disease