Effects of Bulimia

Bulimia is characterized by a fear of gaining weight and obsessions with body image. The difference between anorexia and bulimia lies in the way the fear of gaining weight manifests itself. Bulimics may appear to be at a normal weight range, but have recurring episodes of excessive overeating, also known as binge eating, immediately followed by self-induced vomiting or purging. These episodes are highly secretive and despite causing feelings of shame and self-loathing, often occur several times a week.

Electrolyte (body salts) imbalances as well as kidney problems can set in over time. Other problems are created by the effect of the gastric acid frequently attacking the teeth and the lining of the mouth and esophagus. A variety of other psychiatric comorbidities can also develop, among them depression, low self-esteem and substance abuse.

Symptoms of Bulimia

As with anorexia, if you suspect that you or a friend or family member may have bulimia, make an appointment with a psychiatrist today to get an accurate medical diagnosis and a treatment plan. The presence of an eating disorder may be visible to friends and family, but discerning the underlying reasons and less obvious symptoms and coexisting disorders may only be possible for a psychiatrist.

Signs of bulimia include:
Lacerations and cuts to the inside of the mouth and throat
Chronically sore throat 
Sensitive or decaying teeth
Swollen glands in the neck, under the jaw, and in the mouth
Chronic gastric reflux
Calluses or scars on the back of the hands due to accidental biting during the gag reflex

Eating Disorder Treatment

The most important step in dealing with an eating disorder is the recognition of the problem and the willingness to do something about it. Call your psychiatrist today and schedule an appointment to assess the presence and the severity bulimia.

Treatments for Bulimia

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for bulimia, and may also be combined with other types of interpersonal therapy. Some antidepressants have shown promise in treating bulimia in some cases. However, medication alone is not a cure for bulimia, and only therapy can help reduce the cycle of negative thoughts and self-image and thus, the chances of relapse. Recent research may suggest a role for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for the treatment of bulimia.

Disclamer: The FDA does not endorse or approve the use of the TMS for bulimia nervosa.

For more information about TMS, see our Fort Worth TMS site.

If you or a friend or family member may be suffering from bulimia, call Dr. Ghelber for an appointment in Fort Worth, TX at 817-659-7344, and take the first step on the road to recovery.

Eating Disorders

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