A Look At Bulimia Nervosa Essay Research

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A Look At Bulimia Nervosa Essay, Research Paper Bulimia Nervosa 1 Running Head: Bulimia Nervosa A Look at Bulimia Nervosa Eric W. McKinley Central Texas College Bulimia Nervosa 2 Abstract Eating disorders are becoming more prevalent in the United States. One of these eating disorders is Bulimia Nervosa or bulimia. Bulimia affects 4 percent of adolescent females today. Symptoms of bulimia occur in two stages: Binging and purging. During a binge a bulimic will consume vast amounts of food in a small amount of time. After a binge a bulimic will feel guilty and ashamed of their eating and will try to rid themselves of the food calories by self-induced vomiting, overuse of laxatives, fasting, excessive exercise and other dangerous practices. Social influence, chemical imbalances

in the brain, traumatic experiences and many other factors can cause bulimia. There are many approaches to the cure of this disorder. Antidepressant drugs, behavioral and group therapies, and Cognitive-behavioral therapy are among the many approaches to cure bulimia. Bulimia Nervosa 3 A Look at Bulimia Nervosa An eating disorder is defined as a disorder characterized by physical and/or psychologically harmful eating patterns. (Sue, D., Sue D., & Sue, S. 1997). There are two types of eating disorders recognized by psychologist today. Theses two eating disorders are Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa, usually referred to as bulimia, is the eating disorder that this paper will concentrate on. Bulimia nervosa (its Greek and Latin roots mean “ox like hunger of

nervous origin”) is defined as two or more episodes of binge eating (rapid consumption of a large amount of food, up to 5,000 calories) every week for at least three months. The binges are sometimes followed by vomiting or purging (use of laxatives, diuretics or enemas) and may alternate or only be followed by fasting and excessive exercise for the non-purging bulimic (Harvard Mental Health Letter [HMHL] 1997). There are two subgroups of bulimia that can be distinguished: purging type and a non-purging type. The non-purging bulimics engage in fasting and excessive exercise to rid themselves of the calories taken in during a binge (Frankford ). Non-purging bulimics tend to be heavier than those who purge; they also binge less frequently and show less psychopathology than do the

purging bulimics (Davidson, Neale 1998). The purging bulimics engage in self-induced vomiting and the use of laxatives, diuretics or enemas to rid the extra calories (Frankford). Purging bulimics tend to be thinner than those that do not Bulimia Nervosa 4 purge, however, they usually binge more often and show more psychopathology than there counterparts. (Davidson, Neal 1998). Bulimia nervosa is at least two or three times more common than its counterpart anorexia. It is estimated that 2 percent of the general population and at least 4 percent of woman aged 18 to 30 are diagnosed with bulimia. This would conclude that adolescent woman are the majority of bulimia sufferers. As many as 10 percent of woman may suffer from bulimia at some time in their lives (Davidson, Neal 1998). It

has been found that adolescents who develop bulimia are likely to come from families with a history of eating disorders, physical illness, and other mental health problems including mood disorders and substance abuse. Anxiety and mood disorders are commonly found in bulimic adolescents. (Frankford). Bulimia can have dangerous physical affects. Fatigue and weakness follows excessive exercise and fasting. Constipation may occur after binging. Due to constant vomiting, a bulimic will often have bad teeth due to erosion of the tooth enamel. Constant vomiting will also lead to sore throats and in some cases tearing of the esophagus. Overuse of laxatives can cause stomach upset, digestive problems, dehydration and a loss of potassium. (Davidson, Neal 1998). There are many factors and