The meals of historic kings were the most fantastic dishes served with large portions of diet. “Eat like a fat king” has become an adage over the centuries because of these extravagant meals of kings. They consumed a great deal of sugar and calories, which resulted in their large size. But how much does this adage hold true? Developing a relationship with food through an adage is not a healthy approach and can also be detrimental to your mental health. The lifestyle of people has changed dramatically over the recent decade. It is important for us to have a diet that is suitable for our daily lives because everyone’s energy needs are different. Setting a standard for a diet has given a rise to eating disorders. A lot of people are unaware of how “eating like a fat king” can cause a person to fall victim to an eating disorder called Bulimia (Bulimia Nervosa). In the following article, we will examine what Bulimia is and how you can avoid falling victims to this eating disorder.
Bulimia: Understanding the disease
Bulimia Nervosa is defined as a life-threatening eating disorder characterized by excessive eating followed by purging, fasting, or self-induced vomiting with an aim to expel all the calories eaten. This condition often affects people who have body dysmorphia (distorted body image) and have an extreme desire to lose weight. Eating disorders are common among teenagers and young adults. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019, the worldwide cases of eating disorders have increased from 3.4% to 7.8% between 2000 to 2018. In the United States alone, approximately 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder during their lifetimes. People with relatives who suffer from Bulimia are often at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia
Bulimia often ends when the person is interrupted or if they experience stomach pain due to overeating. Repetitive cycles of this nature may lead to:
- Mood swings: Bulimia may be associated with rapid mood changes like sadness, grief, dissatisfaction, anger, anxiety, and extreme body consciousness.
- Disrupted menstrual cycles: Women may experience irregular menstrual cycles and even the absence of menstruation.
- Behavioral issues: Patients with Bulimia can also show signs of poor self-esteem, compulsive eating, impulsivity, suicidal tendencies, and excessive exercise.
- Other common experiences: These experiences include dehydration, fatigue, frequent bathroom visits, abnormality of taste, food aversion, hunger, and unhealthy skin, hair nails, and lips.
- Oral Trauma: Bad breath, dental cavities, lacerations, tooth erosion, swelling of the salivary glands, etc.
- Gastrointestinal: Bulimia can be characterized by gastroparesis (slow emptying of the stomach), constipation, and palpitations.
- Chronic diseases: Long-term effects of bulimia can lead to severe issues like infertility, cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, esophagitis, and electrolyte imbalance.
Treatment Programs for Bulimia
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) has evidently been very effective in treating bulimia where a patient is taught to counter automatic behaviors and thoughts and try to engage in a different action. CBT helps to recognize eating patterns and quantity of food followed by vomiting and identify emotional responses associated with bulimia to avoid them. Initially used to treat depression, CBT has also been shown effective in treating mental disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse problems. The effectiveness of CBT in treating bulimia in adults is higher than that in children as their habits and brains are still developing. For children, Family-Based treatment (FBT) can be used where parents guide their child’s overeating habits and can work together to solve their problems.
Medications like Antidepressants can also provide positive outcomes along with psychotherapies. Fluoxetine, a type of Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication that can treat bulimia and also counter the effects of overeating.
Nutritionists can provide guidance on eating habits and provide a diet plan to satisfy hunger and energy needs without overeating. Diet should not be strictly restricted and food intake should be regular.
After centuries when we know how damaging it is to our health, we must not blindly follow the phrase “eat like a fat king” who consumed large meals and lived extravagantly. The diet we choose should be tailored to our requirements because each of our bodies is different. Learn about a proper diet plan and understand how you can consume the most effective diet. Consult a medical professional if you experience any of the symptoms of Bulimia mentioned above, and refrain from overeating.