Monday, December 4, 2006

Symptoms and diagnosis of bulimia nervosa

The symptoms of bulimia nervosa are often quite difficult to spot. Unlike patients with anorexia bulimic sufferers are usually of normal or higher weight, so the physical symptoms are less noticeable. Though internal bodily functions are still suffering. As a matter of fact people with bulimia nervosa try to hide their symptoms from family and friends as they consider their disease to be shameful. Therefore bulimia nervosa is likely to span over a lifetime unnoticed.

Basically the following signs and symptoms are taken into account in diagnosis of bulimia nervosa:
  • Rapid consumption of excessive amount of high-calorific food secretly from people around
  • Uncontrolled food consumption during period of hyperphagia
  • Cessation of ingestion only when stomach aches begin to occur, when sleeping, in case of other people around or after vomiting
  • Depression and excessive anxiety about body weight
  • Sticking to rigid diets
  • More-than-10kg fluctuations of body weight
  • Interchange of hyperphagia and starvation periods
Gastroenterological manifestations of bulimia nervosa:
  • Erosive esophagitis
  • Stomach dilation
  • Chronic diarrhea (as result of laxative abuse)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Water-electrolytic balance infringements
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Ruptire of the gullet or stomach (rarely)
To confirm the bulimia nervosa diagnosis the following procedures are carried out:
  • Nutritional status estimation
  • Endoscopy to reveal esophagitis
  • Examination of the electrolyte level and acid-base balance to determine water-electrolytic balance infringements

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bulimia nervosa: a psycologically conditioned abnormality

Bulimia nervosaBulimia nervosa is a psychologically conditioned abnormality in nutritional behaviour when the subject engages in recurrent uncontrolled binge eating that is followed by certain compensatory actions. Among these actions most often is intentional purging that typically takes the form of vomitting. This is done to compensate for the excessive intake of the food and to prevent weight gain. People who suffer from bulimia nervosa often resort to laxatives, enemas, diuretics or other medication. Because of the fear of weight gain they often do wearisome physical exercise and practise fasting. Bulimia nervosa is also reffered to as addephagia, excessive appetite, cynorexia, bovine hunger, excessive hunger, morbid hunger, hyperorexia, limosis, lycorexia, phagomania, sitomania, hyperphagia or just bulimia.

Most often it is young women aged from 18 to 35 that suffer from bulimia nervosa. Men are subjected to this disease very rarely. Actually women are 90% of patients who suffer from it. Speaking in geographical terms, rates of bulimia nervosa are much more prevalent in western civilizations. Also this eating disorder is much more widespread in the Caucasian race.

The bulimic cycles are quite different. Some may suffer from bulimia nervosa every few months. Others binge and purge several times a day. There's a kind of latent bulimia nervosa when people eat socially but are actually bulimic in private.

Once again, bulimia nervosa is a psychologically conditioned abnormality in nutritional behaviour. It means that it is less about food and more about deep psychological issues and feelings of lack of control. Bulimia nervosa can be severe and can be stopped only when the sufferer is either interrupted by another person or when her/his stomach is full and hurts from over-extension.

Bulimia nervosa: I eat and it's never enough

Who doesn't know the feeling of hunger? Everyone satisfies it his own way. One need a hearty meal of 4 or 5 dishes, some other need just a salad or a cup of coffee to feel full.

Generally speaking, there's a chain "hunger - food - satiety". But sometimes this scheme fails what leads to abnormalities in nutritional behaviour. The last phase in this scheme may be never achieved. In this case people always want to eat something. Having just finished with the meal they are ready to have another one. The feeling of hunger doesn't leave them day and night. Even when they are cram-full they still crave to take a snack. Someone would call it a bad habit. But in fact it's a common eating disorder, a serious illness called bulimia nervosa.