If you are living with bulimia, you know how scary it feels to be so out of control. Knowing that you are harming your body just adds to the fear. But take heart : change is possible with systematic homoeopathic treatment.
Homoeopathy is a great therapy resource for those dealing with eating disorders. A science that is thousands of years old, it is well regarded in the medical community because it treats the person as a whole (mind, body and emotions), rather than addressing one single symptom or problem.
In the conventional / allopathic treatment antidepressants may be prescribed for bulimia patients. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as Prozac, Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), and Fluvoxamine (Luvox) are usually prescribed.
However, clinical studies don’t show much effectiveness for use of antidepressants in treating bulimia nervosa. Some studies indicate that the use of Prozac and other antidepressants may cause children and teenagers to have suicidal thoughts.
Homoeopathy treats the whole person, including, but not limited to, the symptoms of the eating disorder. Therefore, the remedy works to get to the core of why the compulsion is there in the first place. Whether the issue stems from an emotional, genetic or physiological trauma or imbalance, the remedy can have a dramatically positive effect on the patient. By working to balance the entire system, Homoeopathy is not just treating the symptoms of the eating disorder. It also works to create equilibrium in the patient. Therefore, when the system is in a state of balance rather than chaos, the compulsions of starving, bingeing and the delusions of distorted self-image begin to relieve themselves from the body.
Over time, there can be a complete transformation from terrible suffering to a whole state of vital health with treatment.
In contrast conventional / allopathic treatment is not healing the cause but suppresses the symptoms. Unlike many conventional medicines, homoeopathic remedies are non-toxic and not addictive and are economical. Also it can be safely used alongside other forms of medical treatment.
How homoeopathy helps?
The medicines help in breaking the binge-and-purge cycle
The remedies help in changing unhealthy thoughts and patterns
The treatment helps in solving emotional issues
When combined with the benefits of good nutrition, exercise and relaxation, homoeopathy can provide optimum support for such patients.
There are 93 medicines which give great relief in bulimia nervosa or binge eating. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus homoeopathic remedies are tailor made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same drugs although trade name may be different.
What is Bulimia Nervosa / Binge Eating
Bulimia nervosa can be defined as recurrent episodes of binge eating (rapid consumption of a large amount of food in a discrete period of time, usually less than two hours). It also includes “consumption of high-calorie, easily ingested food, which is usually done in an inconspicuous manner. The episodes of binge eating are followed by recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, taking laxatives and so on.
The girl with bulimia is in a no-win situation. She has two intense and conflicting desires. Vomiting and laxatives are the only way she can protect her low weight.
As an example of a binge episode, one young woman with bulimia found herself, at a time of great stress, compelled to drive into a 7-11 convenience store where she purchases three cupcakes; she then proceeded to stuff them down her throat whole in an emotional frenzy in the dark and deserted alley behind the store. As far as she was concerned, her binge had begun at the moment when she drove her car up to the front door and did not finish until she had purged the cupcakes. She felt that she was in an altered state throughout the five-minute interval, and experienced a profound sense of relief from her anxiety following the binge / purge cycle. The bulimic cycle releases endorphins, brain chemicals that infuse a person with a sense of numbness or euphoria. Ironically, the relief passes in short order, only to be replaced by anxiety and guilt for the bulimic behaviors.
It is most common in adolescent and young adult women. People with bulimia are often of normal or near-normal weight, which makes them different from people with anorexia (another eating disorder in which the person does not eat).
There is no single cause for eating disorders like bulimia nervosa or binge eating. Although concerns about weight and body shape play a role in all eating disorders, the actual cause of these disorders appear to result from many factors, including cultural and family pressures and emotional and personality disorders. Genetics and biologic factors may also play a role.
With the images of thin men and women popularized on media throughout U.S. culture, the stress to attain a “perfect” body can be extreme. This pressure often extends through families, who push their young people to be thin.
Self esteem plays a part in whether or not a person will develop an eating disorder such as bulimia. Persons without healthy coping mechanisms may become depressed, moody or angry or feel like they can’t control impulsive behaviors.
Life Changes and Stress
Traumatic events, such as sexual assault, can cause bulimia. Teenagers going through puberty are also often under stress to attain a perfect body size and may develop bulimia. When stressful events feel out of control sometimes people develop bulimia as an attempt to “control” one aspect of their lives. By controlling their food intake and food absorption the sufferer attempts to exert unnatural “control” over their body.
It occurs eight times more often in people who have relatives with the disorder. Bulimia nervosa occurs more often in families with a history of depression or alcohol abuse.
Bulimia is often not noticed until associated health problems have developed. However, if you have it you may :
Not eating with others or disappear to the toilet after meals to vomit the food you have eaten
Have a binge-purge cycle at least twice a week for three months or more
Have an intense dread of gaining weight
Have frequent weight changes
Be preoccupied with thoughts of food or cravings
Secretly hoard away food
Be obsessed with exercise
Have a distorted body image
Become secretive and unwilling to socialize
Find it hard to concentrate
Over time, bulimia can lead to various health problems. These can include :
Tooth decay, discolored teeth, gum disease and bad breath caused by stomach acid in the mouth from regular vomiting – also patches of rough skin on the knuckles or fingers if they are used to make you vomit
A puffy face over the jaw from swollen salivary glands (glands in the mouth which produce saliva to keep the mouth moist)
Irregular periods or periods stop altogether
Severe dehydration, which can cause weakness, fainting or kidney damage
Inflammation of the stomach and esophagus (the tube leading from the mouth to the stomach), caused by the acid in vomit
Low blood pressure and palpitations (irregular heart beat)
Constipation or diarrhea and tummy pain
Swollen hands and feet
Dry skin and hair loss
Difficulty sleeping and tiredness
Damage to the bowel muscles caused by use of laxatives
Damage to the heart
It’s important that people with bulimia receive appropriate treatment. If untreated, there is a chance that they may die from related health problems, although this is rare.
There are five basic criteria in the diagnosis of bulimia :
Recurrent episodes of binge eating. This is characterized by eating within a two-hour period an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
A sense of lack of control over the eating during the episode, or a feeling that one cannot stop eating.
In addition to the binge eating, there is an inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain. These behaviors can include self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise.
Both the binge eating and the compensatory behaviors must occur at least two times per week for three months and must not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia.
Finally, there is dissatisfaction with body shape and / or weight.
Home Remedies & Management
A great home remedy for bulimia is to eat oranges for easy digestion. People who are suffering tend to feel bloated and very heavy after they eat. This is what leads to purging and further sickness. Oranges tend to help move the food through the digestive tract much faster. Try mixing oranges into your meals, salad or desserts.
Listen to some calming music when you are eating. Avoid harsh music or getting into an argument. Our feelings contribute greatly to how we react and self-harm through food might be what we choose to turn to. This also includes excessive eating.
Remember to chew your food. Even if you have to chew your food eight times, this will lead you to eat slower and not feel overly full, or weighed down.
After a meal it is usually a good idea to go for a walk in the fresh air. This distracts a bulimic sufferer and can help digest food. Fresh air and a walk after meals is a great way of avoiding further damage or mental anguish.