Friday, September 4, 2009

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is eating disorder that primarily affects female teens. However, one in ten people with bulimia is male. Bulimia nervosa is a condition in which a person eats large amounts of food and then secretly purges. Purging means to get rid of or remove something. People with bulimia purge the food they have eaten by vomiting or taking laxatives. They may also exercise too much in an effort to work off the calories they have eaten.

People with bulimia are very concerned with losing weight and maintaining strict control of their bodies. They do not usually become extremely thin, however. For this reason it can be hard to tell if a person is suffering from bulimia and needs help. The signs of bulimia are subtle. For example, the person might go into a bathroom immediately after eating a large meal and vomit. He or she may run water to cover the sound of vomiting. Another sign is swollen cheeks caused by vomiting.

Although people with bulimia are not usually at risk of starving to death, the dis order can seriously damage their health in other ways. Stomach acids from frequent vomiting eat away at tooth enamel and injure the mouth and throat. Frequent vomiting can also cause a hormone imbalance, dehydration, damage to the kidneys and liver, and loss of important minerals.

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