Bulemia Nervosa, what is it?

Bulemia is actually properly spelt Bulimia Nervosa but don't feel bad, a lot of people are actually spelling it bulemia. When someone mentions bulimia, what should come to mind, is the most typical sign, overeating followed with or without purging.

Bulemia and overeating how much? 

Why does the bulimic overeat and how much do they overeat by? To answer the first question, the latin name for "Bulimia" represents the "hunger of an ox," which explains their overeating. When a bulimic overeats, it is not uncommon for them to take in as much as 30,000 calories! That many calories is equivalent to 10 large, deep dish, italian sausage and pepperoni pizzas from Dominos Pizza. Imagine eating that much food at one time! 

Two ox next to each other yoked togetherOx

Purging and other resorts 

Bulimics after they eat excessive amounts of calories will often purge the food they ate or resort to other extreme measures to burn calories such as fasting, using diuretics, using laxatives and exercising excessively even during times of extreme weather and despite injuries. What's important is that during the excessive eating episodes there is a complete lack of control from the eater. Even after the eater has eaten 10,000 calories and is full, they will continue to eat despite their desire to quit eating. 

A woman shoving cinnamon rolls into her mouth as part of a bulimic binge episodeBinge Episode

Approximate weight

People with different eating disorders have different body weights. People with Anorexia Nervosa are underweight and this diagnosis can happen with a BMI in adults less than 17.5. People with a Binge-Eating Disorder often are overweight or obese, BMI above 25 and above 30 respectively. People with Bulimia Nervosa are usually a normal weight or a little overweight with a BMI between 18.5 and 28. 

Celebrities Included 

Most people with Bulimia Nervosa are woman. It is estimated that for every 15 women with Bulimia there is one man with Bulimia, a 15 to 1 ratio. Not surprising, a lot of celebrities have come out about their eating disorder. Recently, Artist Keesha sought help for her Bulimia Nervosa. Other recognized names with Bulima Nervosa are Lady Gaga, Paula Abdul, Barbi Twins, Justine Bateman, Catherine Bell, Russell Brand, Melanie C, Margaret Cho, Chyna, Diana, Princess of Wales, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Geri Halliwell, Justin Hawkins, Cheryl James, Elton John, Lindsay Lohan, Alanis Morissette, Sharon Osbourne, Joan Rivers, Richard Simmons, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse and many more.    

Star Britney Spears with pony tails back from the beginning of her career when she was in her 20'sBritney Spears

Bulemia/Bulimia Symptoms

Before purging the person affected may have a motivation to purge that comes from a need to reduce anxiety, calm emotions and numb uncomfortable feelings; however, after a binge episode the binger may feel intense feelings of guilt and shame. To facilitate the purge some bulimics will use Syrup Of Ipecac which induces vomiting. Foods that propel binging are referred to as trigger foods and such foods are typically high in calories, sugar and fat content such as ice-cream, candy, cake and potato chips. 

An ice cream bar (Chocolate) next to an ice cream cone that is chocolate and vanilla with nuts sprinkled on top.Ice Cream Trigger Food

In attempt to hide their bulimia, the bulimic may purchase meals from different fast food resturants during a certain time frame and then go home and consume all the fast food. Such behavior also can leave the bulimic financially in need. While not eating large amounts of food, the bulimic will likely be on some sort of diet and will restrict certain foods from their diet. 

Clinically, to have a diagnosis of Bulimia Nervosa, the bulimic will purge at least twice a week for a period not less than 3 months. They are further categorized as a bulimic that purges, or doesn't purge. Those that don't purge have other mechanisms such as excessive exercise they undertake to lose the weight from their eating episodes. 

Not unlike those with Anorexia Nervosa, the bulimic commonly has a preoccupation and concern for their body's image. Weighing themselves is not uncommon nor is avoidance of the issue by wearing baggy clothing. 

For more information in bulleted format, see this informative webpage on Bulimia facts

› Bulemia
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