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Dying to Be Thin (pg. 2)

American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee battled bulimia for five years, but seeked out help after nailing her AI audition.
Courtesy of Fox

Eating Disorders - What is Bulimia?

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder that involves episodes of binge eating, followed by episodes of purging. Simply put, a bulimic rapidly eats huge amounts of food at one time (binging) and then rids it from the body (purging). A binge episode can involve eating up to 20,000 calories and usually involves "comfort foods." That's more than 10 times your daily caloric intake! To rid the body of food, bulimics resort to, one or any combination of, fasting, vomiting, compulsive exercising, abusing laxatives and/or diuretics (substances or drugs that make you go to the bathroom), and enemas (flushing out the bowels with fluid). Binging and purging is usually followed by intense feelings of guilt and shame. Despite this incredible physical abuse, and contrary to popular opinion, the bulimic may not be visibly underweight and may even be slightly overweight. Regardless, the bulimic - just like the anorexic - uses self-destructive eating behaviors to deal with psychological problems. Often these problems go much deeper than the obsession with food and weight.

Eating Disorders - Bulimia Warning Signs

Think you or someone you know is bulimic? There's more involved than just possible weight loss, weakness and exhaustion. Consider some of these danger signs.
  • Binging, or eating uncontrollably.
  • Attempting to lose weight by strict dieting, fasting, compulsive exercise, vomiting or abusing laxatives or diuretics.
  • Using the bathroom frequently; immediately after meals.
  • Obsessed with body weight.
  • Depression, mood swings, feeling out of control.
  • Swollen glands in face and neck.
  • Regularly experience reflux or heartburn.
  • Bloating.
  • Irregular periods.
  • Digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion, and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome.
  • Tooth decay caused by stomach acid from constant vomiting.
  • Sore throat caused by stomach acid.
  • Vomiting blood.
  • Eating Disorders - Bulimia Can Kill

    Anything to look good may be the motto, but the price is way too high! Check out a few bulimia by-products. Yuck!
  • Dehydration.
  • Damage to the bowels, liver and kidneys.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Electrolyte imbalance, which leads to irregular heartbeat, and in some cases, cardiac arrest.
  • Cancer in the squamous cell lining of the throat, from years of chronic vomiting.
  • Eating Disorders - Facts to Chew On

  • Five percent of college women are bulimic.
  • Ten percent of bulimics will die from starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications from the disease or suicide.
  • Click here for an overview on Anorexia Nervosa.
  • Check out TeenOutReach for more information on eating disorders.
  • Have you suffered from an eating disorder? and we'll publish a collection of your experiences and thoughts on this subject.

    Related Stories:

  • A Body Image Reality Check
  • Losing Weight the Wrong Way
  • Eating Disorder Awareness Week
  • More Health and Body Info!
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    Comments

    JennyD

    JennyD wrote:

    u don't have to be thin
    commented: Sat Sep 14, 2013

    there are 1 more comments

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