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Definition of Bulimia, Prevention and Consultation

Definition of bulimia

Bulimia is an eating disorder that involves ingesting between meals and at least 2 times a week massive amounts of food in a very short time (less than 2 hours): doctors speak of hyperphagia.
It is rather rich in food calories (2000 to 5000 kcal) or very filling (bread, pasta ...). There is no prior hunger nor satiety or pleasure. The swallowing is so compulsive (uncontrollable). Many crises are possible in a single day.

What are the health issues of bulimia?

Bulimia usually occurs around 19 years on average and mainly concerns women. An estimated 2% of the female population affected western, more than 230,000. This proportion is multiplied by 4, or 8% among adolescents (Gasman and Allilaire, Child Psychiatry, adolescents and adults, 2009).

Symptoms and consequences of bulimia

Bulimia is accompanied by compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain:
- Vomiting,
- Fast before the crisis,
- Immediately after intense physical exercise,
- Medications such as laxatives, diuretics and appetite.

Induced vomiting to counteract the effects of the crisis bulimic exposed to lower blood potassium, responsible for serious heart rhythm disturbances, such as sudden death.
Once two alternates with bulimia anorexia. Many anorexics suffer at one time or another bulimia.
An eating disorder is rarely isolated from other mental disorders accompany it, which adds to the gravity.
As with anorexia, anxiety and depression face a high risk of suicide. Addictions are present in approximately 30% of cases, abuse of alcohol and drugs, amphetamines and tranquilizers.

Finally, it exposed to endocrine disorders (glandular) and biological.

Bulimia Prevention

What are the mechanisms of bulimia?
Like anorexia, bulimia is underpinned by a genetic vulnerability, whose exploration is underway. The heritability is high (about 70% as anorexia). There are families of bulimics, in the family history there are more mental disorders (depression) and addictions (alcohol, drugs).

It is not known why or when one enters into the vulnerable personality bulimic disease. Environmental factors play their role here.

Psychiatric psychoanalytic vision explained by excessive emotional investment dietary concerns. But anxiety turned against oneself, the feeling of emptiness and need to fill.

How to recognize bulimia?

Like the anorexic, bulimic attaches great importance to its image. He eats in secret by disgust and shame, in a context of depression.

Often preceded by anxiety, bulimia often occurs in moments of solitude and can therefore go unnoticed, especially as the weight is often normal.

Bulimia with vomiting (or binge eating), bulimia which is accompanied by a loss of control and physical discomfort and ends with vomiting.

Bulimia without vomiting (bulimia or hyperphagic). The weight is normal or above normal.
Some signs are due to vomiting as the erosion of tooth enamel, caries, ulceration of the gums.
Of course, frequent weight fluctuations are suspect as the "yo-yo weight". In women, amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) is highly suspect, as in anorexia is often today. Especially if it is associated with a divestment of love and sex.

Is there a prevention possible?

Not at the moment. But it can detect the beginning to better take care and avoid or limit its dangers.

Bulimia Preparing consultation

When to see a doctor?
Soon finds that binge eating (hyperphagies) uncontrollable or sign cited in the previous question.
The discussion in confidence is indispensable, it is never superfluous with teens.

How to prepare for the consultation?
It should be noted in a weekly all food consumed in the week, time and duration of food intake. Vomiting too.

What is the doctor?
The doctor made a careful assessment of the general condition (impact on organs). It calculates the body mass index (BMI). It assesses the pathological character of the pipe according to the criteria specified food of the disease.

The treatment of bulimia requires a support called "multidisciplinary" because using psychology, regular consultation with a psychiatrist and a nutritionist.

The use of behavioral and cognitive therapies, relaxation and massage can bring improvement.

An antidepressant and / or anxiolytic may be necessary in case of marked depressive syndrome.

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