Bulimia isn’t fun for anyone involved – the person who has it, or the surrounding loved ones who are scared for the well being of the person. And, they have every right to be scared. The fact about bulimia aren’t pretty, and it is important to know how severe the condition can get to make sure you or your loved one gets help in time.
When an eating disorder goes untreated, it can kill. It isn’t something to mess around with. Bulimia is an eating disorder that takes a tremendous toll on a person’s body, and it can affect anyone – women, men, young, and old.
The Scary Facts About Bulimia
Education is everything when it comes to fighting eating disorders. It can help you to spot and identify them and get help when it is needed. Here are some of the facts about bulimia that are important to know.
- Bulimia is often hidden. Most people assume people with eating disorders will be extremely skinny and frail, but people with bulimia can and often do maintain a healthy weight. They also will appear to eat normally but will purge in private. It is important to look for signs beyond the obvious when it comes to bulimia.
- Bulimia causes an electrolyte imbalance. While that doesn’t sound too terrible, it isn’t something that can be fixed only by throwing back a gatorade. Electrolytes are incredibly important for the body and they are essential for your nerves, muscles, and organs. With an imbalance, it can have an extreme impact on the body, the worst of which is an irregular heartbeat that can cause sudden death.
- Bulimia impacts your reproductive system. It is very important to be careful with what you put into your body, making sure you are getting enough nutrients. For women, if there aren’t enough nutrients, it leads to amenorrhea (loss of period). It is a very common side effect in both bulimia and anorexia, and can have long term effects rendering a woman infertile.
- Bulimia is closely tied to depression. As we all know, depression is a serious mood disorder that affects many people. Even more people don’t get treated for it even when they really need to. Depression can happen before bulimia, or vice versa. Regardless, they feed into each other and one can make the other worse. An extremely real consequence of untreated depression is suicide. It is important to get treated for coexisting bulimia and depression promptly so that it never gets to that point, or even close.
- Bulimia hurts your whole body. Physically, bulimia destroys your throat from constant purging, and the lining of your esophagus and stomach. It lowers your blood pressure and can hurt your heart or lead to stroke. The malnutrition will also cause you to have dull and dry skin and hair, eventually having a sickly appearance as your bulimia progresses. It will also affect your mind, making you tired, out of it, and unmotivated.
The facts about bulimia aren’t pleasant, but the good news is that there is help out there. Many, many people have had a big issue with bulimia and other coexisting conditions like depression and illness and have still come to treatment, gotten better, and gone on to thrive. It is important to get help sooner rather than later, because the earlier you catch it the easier it will be to treat. Getting help paves the road to becoming strong and healthy, and you’ll realize that you aren’t alone in your battle.