Like other mental health disorders, effective bulimia treatment starts with an honest assessment of a person’s needs. Of course, the first step is to fully understand the disease. While eating disorders like anorexia nervosa may get more attention, those who suffer from bulimia often find themselves with similar health risks. Unfortunately, these can turn serious when untreated.
Transformations at Mending Fences offers individuals suffering from eating disorders the opportunity to get better. The variety of treatment options we provide are part of a concerted effort to ensure every client has a customized plan that works for them. Take a moment to learn more about this condition, and then contact us immediately if bulimia treatment may help you.
Bulimia nervosa is a mental health disorder with a lifetime prevalence nearly double that of anorexia. It’s characterized by episodes of binge eating followed by activities meant to compensate for what was eaten. Binging refers to consuming large amounts of food in a relatively short time, and those engaging in this behavior feel a lack of control.
People use many behaviors to compensate for instances of binge eating. These can include fasting, excessive exercising and purging behavior. These individuals are typically unhappy with their bodies and have an unhealthy concern with losing weight. Since many people suffering from the disorder maintain a normal weight, though, they’ll often forego bulimia treatment.
Unfortunately, normal weight in bulimic patients doesn’t mean they’re healthy. In fact, individuals suffering from the disease have a mortality rate of around 4 percent. To put this into perspective, the mortality rate for heroin addiction was 4.7 in 2017. These statistics show that – more than just reaching a sense of normalcy – bulimia treatment can save lives.
Bulimia nervosa is fairly straightforward as an eating disorder. There are two subtypes, however, that provide a better understanding of the disease. Experts base these on the post-binge behaviors of those suffering from the condition. An improved understanding of these types of bulimia offers a better opportunity for effective customized treatments.
The purging subtype of bulimia involves individuals trying to remove food from their bodies in unhealthy ways. This could include self-induced vomiting or using enemas, laxatives or diuretics in excess after eating. Most bulimic patients fall into this category.
When a person attempts to compensate for binges without quickly removing food from their bodies, they fall into the non-purging subtype. Behaviors that meet this definition include excessive exercising, stimulant drug abuse or unhealthy fasting.
Regardless of the subcategory a person’s condition falls into, bulimia treatment is imperative to avoid long-term damage. Even if a person maintains an appropriate weight for years, bulimic behaviors can cause irreparable harm.
It’s sometimes hard for people to admit they have a problem. Unfortunately, this is even more difficult with bulimia nervosa since many people don’t see the harm that’s occurring. What they fail to realize is that these behaviors can worsen over time. In reality, 78 percent of those with the condition suffer impairment. Nearly half deal with severe impairment.
Bulimia treatment can help patients avoid these outcomes before they have serious consequences in their lives. An assessment is also vital because the disease typically comes with comorbid or common co-occurring disorders. In fact, 94.5 percent of sufferers also meet the criteria for other mental illnesses.
The scariest potential issue, though, occurs due to bulimia nervosa’s increased risk of suicide. Nearly one-third of individuals with the condition will attempt suicide in their lifetimes. This statistic becomes more disheartening because only 43.2 percent of those with the disease will seek treatment. Do not allow yourself or a loved one to become part of these statistics.
Just because a person isn’t wasting away – as seen with anorexia nervosa – doesn’t mean an eating disorder isn’t serious. Bulimia is one of the more common disorders in this category, and like anorexia, it can be fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options for those who want to take their lives back.
Transformations at Mending Fences offers a variety of bulimia treatment options to help clients get healthy. Cognitive behavioral therapy, managing guilt and shame, equine therapy and nutrition classes are just a small sampling of what we offer. And thanks to our certified staff of professionals, you can rest soundly knowing you’re getting the best care possible.
Contact us today to learn how our customized treatment plans can help you get back on track.
National Library of Medicine
National Institute of Mental Health
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
Suicide Prevention Resource Center