Bulimia, the eating disorder, or more popularly known as bulimia nervosa, can be defined as an eating disorder that refers to binge eating. Individuals suffering from this disorder, after consumption, use different methods to remove the food ingested. The two popular ways these types of individuals follow is either by vomiting or by taking a laxative. There are also other methods used, such as fasting, stimulants, excess physical activity in the form of exercise, diuretics etc. It has to be noted, that many people with this disorder will have normal body weight. In this article on home remedies for bulimia nervosa information will be given on the causes, symptoms and simple methods to seek potential cure from this disorder.
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If an individual is suffering from bulimia nervosa, chances are that one of his/her close relative has the similar disorder. The percentage of risk of genetics connected with this ailment stands from 30 % to 80 %.
The other factors making a contribution are poor self-esteem, obesity, cultural pressure and psychological stress.
Cultural Pressure: If the individual lives amongst those who follow dieting or have parents/relatives who are intolerant about obesity, then he/she might get affected.
To be taken into account are, the identification of these types of disorders such as bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa is extremely difficult as affected individuals keep their binging and purging problems a secret. There are also other similar disorders such as borderline personality disorder, Kleine-Levin syndrome and binge eating disorder.
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The individuals affected by bulimia nervosa will suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and can also become addict to either alcohol or drugs. Let it be known, the entire body will be affected, including the nervous system.
The end stage can be suicide and severe self-harm. When statistical figures are compared with anorexia, the symptoms are not life-threatening, but disorder in the nervous system and lack of nutrients might lead to depression and finally, suicide. It has been estimated that at least one percent of women exhibit some of this behavior. Also, this ailment is found more in women, as the causes are linked more to the self-image culture.
The vomiting/purging or usage of other methods to remove ingested food can be followed according to a cycle set by the individual (several times a week or few times a day). The physical symptoms are as follows:
- Affected with chronic gastric influx after consumption of food
- Suffer from dehydration. The next symptom could be vomiting in pain
- Due to lack of nutrients, there will be imbalance of electrolytes, leading to cardiac arrest, and (God forbid) and death.
- Pain in the stomach due to inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis). The same symptom will be experienced if the individual suffers from a rupture in the esophageal wall because of vomiting (Boerhaave syndrome)
- Suffer from inner oral pain or trauma, because of the insertion of fingers to induce vomiting in throat or mouth.
- Peptic ulcers
- Enlarged glands due to forced vomiting (in the areas of neck or under the jaw)
- Fluctuations in weight
- Due to vomiting, individuals may have thick skin on their knuckles
- Due to vomiting, the gastric acid comes in regular contact with teeth. The symptoms are:
- Erosion in tooth enamel (perimolysis)
- Dental erosion
- Salivary glands will be swollen
Families of the affected individuals can take note of these symptoms:
- He/she will always keep an account of the calorie consumption
- Always check their body weight
- He/she will suffer from low self-esteem, depression or low blood pressure
- In case of women/girls, they will suffer from irregular menstrual periods
- Consume large amounts of food and make frequent trips to the bathroom
- Suffer from muscle weakness, epileptic seizures and cardiac problems.
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1. Aloe Vera
The affected individual would have damaged his/her gastrointestinal system by his/her actions. The food has been cleared, and along with it, the essential nutrients and medicinal components have also been eliminated. The symptom – they will suffer from bloating.
Bloating is seen as an evil symptom in this disorder, as it can make the affected individual more concerned about their size and weight and the cycle starts all over again.
The home remedy by using aloe vera can work wonders as it soothes upset stomachs, reduces bloating, thereby eliminating the dangerous stimulants of bulimia nervosa that can lead to further destruction.
How Does It Work?
The components of aloe vera are over 200 and they consist of minerals, vitamins, polysaccharide, fatty acids and amino acids. The vitamins are A, E, C, folic acid, B1, B2, B3 and B6 as well as B12. Also, it also contains minerals such as selenium, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium.
The three sterols that assist in acid digestion are campesterol, B-sitosterol and HCL cholesterol. Aloe vera is also known as an adaptogen, that is, it makes the body ready to external changes and provide immunity to illness. Other properties are as a vermifuge, where intestinal worms are eliminated.
This disorder can be best defined as one where it first affects the mind. Then the mind makes negative assumptions leading to physical harm on the body in the form of actions such as vomiting etc.
This usage of herb remedy (Ginseng) can be hailed as one of the complete effective home remedies for bulimia nervosa. It not only enhances the mood, but also triggers the appetite, relieves feelings of anxiety, and reduce stress and compulsive behavior.
If taken regularly every day three hours before food, ginseng can assist in making the body return back to normal as well regulate the appetite.
How Does It Work?
It enhances the levels of antioxidants in the body such as glutathione and promotes the formation of more immune cells. The two medicinal components found to provide multiple benefits are panaxosides and ginsenosides. Ginseng helps in stimulating the production of bone marrow, inhibit viral and bacterial growth and detoxify the liver.
Not Good, If:
You are taking medication for blood thinning. It could interfere with medicines such as warfarin.
Vomiting can be defined as one of the actions which can cause severe harm to the digestive system. The entire digestion process gets thrown out-of-order as the bile and beneficial stomach acids are eliminated via the throat.
How Does It Work?
The stomach not only contains acids, but also beneficial bacteria which help in digestion. Since many of the essential nutrients are eliminated before absorption, acidity seeps in. Probiotics restore intake of nutrients and slowly brings the digestive system to normal. Kindly note, bouts of regular vomiting can require a long healing process.
It is advisable to take the guidance of a physician as soon as possible to treat this condition.
The name ‘citric acid’ reminds one of an appetizer. How true! Citric acid in oranges stimulates the appetite if an individual has consumed few pieces before a meal. In case of regular consumption every two hours, the metabolism gets stimulated, and reduce the desire to binge eating.
How Does It Work?
Citric acid also acts as a powerful antioxidant and is effective against prevention of illnesses or infection. Let it be known, that lack of nutrients, because of bulimia nervosa can lead to low immunity making the body suffer from simple ailments such as cold, cough and fever.
Also, Vitamin C is an essential component in collagen production; used for repairing damaged tissues and cells.
It has been noted that a vegetarian diet is recommended by doctors for bulimia as it can promote faster healing. And, if the diet contains spinach, the leafy vegetable it can work wonders.
How Does It Work?
Spinach contains rich resources of folic acid, linked to reducing symptoms of depression. The other medicinal components give the necessary nutritional ingredients of the human body.
6. Nutritional Planning
If the individual has taken note of his/her disorder and wants to get rid of the ailment, it is recommended that they join a group. A nutritional planner will be among the group who will maintain a diary of the dietary requirements and caloric intake as well as emotions. Regular participation can bring more insight on the health aspects that can assist to overcome the binge eating and purging habits. The healing process could be slow but it is effective.
Supportive families can help in curing the physical symptoms, but what is required is a complete healing of impulsive behavior in terms of bulimia. Yoga can be defined as one of the physical activity exercises as the poses can relieve symptoms of stress and anguish, calming the mind.
Usually, the affected patients suffer from lack of control (emotional and physical) over their actions, self-image as well as their thoughts. Other than yoga, in any type of treatment, calming-the-mind control techniques are used for effective treatment of bulimia nervosa.
There are many who do not practice meditation, as they know, concentration on one’s SELF may require some negative events to tumble out of the mind. In case of a similar challenge, it is easy to seek the guidance of a ‘Master’ who can help with the internal problems.
Running from problems and postponing simple challenges may lead only to self-harm and restraint. Regular practice of meditation can lead to improvement in self-image and binge eating (impulsive behavior) can be controlled. Remember, the famous word, however – Meditation does not come, it happens.
9. Emotional Self-Care
A medical research has pointed that before the initial stage of bulimia nervosa there was a period in which affected individuals felt good about themselves and their image. Then came the insults or self-critical feelings and they got affected. The same positive feelings of old times can, however, be regained with suitable help.
It is necessary to focus on positive aspects and attributes of self, do the activities that make you feel good. It is recommended to spend valuable time with persons who love and respect you for enhancing your positive moods.
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After suitable advice from the doctor, home treatment can be given.
The family can make the affected individual feel-at-ease and try to spend more time with him/her.
Make the family member take one-day-at-a-time. The goal is to make them feel that they are a respective part of the society.
Take control of the treatment plan. The individual has to attend every therapy session and not stray from meal plans.
Learn about the symptoms from the physician. Have the doctor’s call number, in case of an emergency.
Maintain a diary on nutrition. Lack of nutrients in the body of the affected person with bulimia can make him/her prone to simple ailments.
There can be situations when the individual wants to stay alone. Give him/her space so that they understand their own short-comings.
Take note of the number of times they see the mirror. Have a positive chat with them during these stages. Images shown in the mirror can lead to unhealthy eating habits once again.
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You should pay a visit to the doctor if you or someone in the family is affected by bulimia and suffer from these symptoms:
Difficulty in passing urine
Heart beats are irregular or slow
Face severe abdominal or belly pain, vomiting of blood, suffer sticky, black stools (due to bleeding in the digestive tract)
You or the family member binge and then use methods such as purging or taking diuretics to get rid of food.
Feels concerned about weight; eats in private and skips eating in groups.
Natural Remedy Vs Pharmacy
Any type of remedy will involve counseling (psychological counseling) and usage of antidepressants.
The preferred antidepressant is known as Prozac (component – fluoxetine) that can reduce signs of depression and decrease the cycles of binging and purging. However, the medicine has been known to work better when counseling is given along with medicines.
The counseling therapies used are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). In the former one, you are taught to change negative feelings and thoughts you have about weight, body or food or beliefs.
In the latter one, you will learn the effects of relationships and feelings on binge eating (as well as purging).