10 signs by which you can suspect bulimia in a teenager
Bulimia is the most widespread food dependence and a real epidemic among those who are preoccupied with their weight and figure. In a separate risk group are adolescents who are dissatisfied with their appearance and strive for model standards. The difficulty is that with this eating disorder, girls (and boys) can look quite healthy for a long time. Here are 10 signs that parents should definitely pay attention to.
Bulimia is a violation of eating behavior, which is characterized by repeated bouts of gluttony, followed by cleansing, getting rid of eaten by inducing vomiting. Bulimia is akin to drug addiction, only food becomes a drug, and it is very difficult to break out of a vicious circle on your own.
- Induced vomiting and its effects. First of all, these are scratches from teeth on the knuckles of the right hand (or the left if the teenager is left-handed). Due to frequent attempts to cleanse your body of food, sooner or later, the phalanx of the index finger is deformed. Scratches, ulcers, swelling, and damaged nails due to contact with gastric juice are all the main evidence that an eating disorder has already formed. In addition, the suspicion should be caused by the fact that after eating your child is permanently removed to the bathroom or toilet and turns on the water, then returns with a red and swollen face. If weight loss is added to these signs, then do not hesitate, the teenager needs urgent help.
- Fanatical care for figure and weight. Patients with bulimia as well as anorexia closely monitor their weight and figure. The desire to have a beautiful slender body is what it all starts with. For self-esteem of a teenager, the indicators of weights occupy almost the first place and determine its attitude to itself. You should be warned if the child looks too critically at himself in the mirror, notes the flaws, compares himself with actresses, models or more slender peers. Excessive, rather fanatical, attention to the figure is accompanied by daily measurement of weight or waist, hips.
- Permanent diets and restrictions. A sharp change in your usual diet, counting calories consumed, changing tastes and preferences in food should also alert you, even if your child says that he is switching to a healthy diet or simply restricts sweets. In addition, a teenager can avoid family dinners and try to eat alone. The fact is that bulimics are embarrassed to eat in public and carefully hide their frustration. And in public places, for example, at a party, they eat in moderation, no different from the rest.
- A teenager spends a lot of time in the bathroom or toilet. The main symptom of bulimia is the desire to get rid of calories eaten by any means. Most often by artificially induced vomiting. Large doses of laxatives and diuretics can also go into the “move”. Bulimik first makes every effort to get enough, and then with the same zeal, he immediately tries to get rid of food.
- Weight fluctuations. A direct consequence of complex eating disorders, strict diets, breakdowns and hunger strikes. Weight changes can be significant in plus or minus. Sometimes fluctuations can reach ten kilograms per month. A teenager sometimes hides the loss or weight gain of baggy clothes. By the way, shapeless clothes are one of the signs of rejection of your figure.
- Increased appetite. Not only diets cause concern, but also the fact that the products began to disappear sharply from the refrigerator, and the teenager eats more than much. Bulimics can absorb food in large quantities without feeling full. An eating disorder progresses quite quickly. As it develops, thoughts about food occupy more and more space in life. All other problems and priorities go by the wayside.
- Health problems. Frequent vomiting irritates the throat and esophagus, and due to an unbalanced diet, the teeth become weak. Often caries occurs and tooth enamel is damaged. Uncontrolled use of various laxatives can cause diarrhea or constipation. Vomiting and diuretic drugs inevitably lead to an imbalance in the electrolyte balance, and dehydration may also develop. Outwardly, it appears dry and skin with frequent irritation. A characteristic feature in girls is menstrual irregularities. Moms may notice that their teenage daughters are less likely to use hygiene products. Hormonal malfunction is externally manifested by irritability, tearfulness. nervousness. The clinical symptoms of bulimia can be swelling of the glands on the face and neck, constant soreness in the throat, inflammation of the esophagus, manifested by heartburn. Other consequences of bulimia are hair loss, severe weakness, muscle fatigue, dizziness and metabolic disorders.
- Depression and loneliness. Gradually, a teenager obsessed with food becomes closed, unsociable, depressed, and sometimes aggressive. He tries to avoid events with a feast, is depressed during the holidays. Uncontrolled bouts of gluttony and the inability to limit oneself in food cause neurosis. Attention and working capacity are reduced. Teenagers with an eating disorder are characterized by low self-esteem, guilt, excessive self-criticism, and a distorted idea of their own weight and body.
- Perfectionism. At risk for food addiction are excellent students, smart and sensitive people. They are ambitious, in everything strive to be the best, successful, achieve their goals. But in pursuit of the ideal, it is difficult for them to live in harmony with themselves, with their body and stop improving themselves every minute.
- Excessive enthusiasm for fitness, exercise. An indirect symptom that does not always indicate an eating disorder. A teenager can dramatically increase physical activity: run, visit a fitness club daily, dance to the point of exhaustion
etc.Any fanaticism should alert parents.
Anna Nazarenko, supervisor of the Clinic for Eating Disorders.
If you find that the child is causing vomiting, the main thing is not to push, not to beg or to threaten. This is not a lack of will, it is a real addiction that requires professional intervention. You can not put a teenager with a food dependence in a psychiatric clinic, because he is mentally healthy. At the moment in psychiatric clinics there are no corresponding narrow specialists. Tranquilizers and antidepressants will not solve the nutrition problem. Look for a highly specialized clinic for eating disorders or qualified experts in this field. If you push, scold, cry - the teenager closes even more, and you lose contact with him. And your child will be left alone with his problem, without support. My advice to parents is to have patience, wisdom, and love to help your child recover from food addiction.
Bulimia among the rich and famous
Bulimia among the rich and famous
Jane Fonda, an actress and creator of aerobics, exhausted herself by constant hunger strikes, which ended with a “belly festival”. The fitness queen for a long time hid her dependence on the public, although she became a victim of this disease at the age of 21, already being an actress and model. Jane managed to cope with eating disorders only by 36 years.
Famous in the 70s Twiggy model once went to hospital in a state of clinical death. After prolonged starvation and a subsequent attack of gluttony, her heart refused, her emaciated fashion model was hardly saved.
Princess Diana she admitted to one British channel that she had been suffering from bulimia since 1981, but only turned up for treatment in the late 80s. In an interview, Lady Dee said that she overeated every day, and then caused vomiting. In this way, she tried to escape from problems. The frankness of Princess Diana prompted many women to admit their illness and seek help.
Sharon Osbourne He has been fighting bulimia for 35 years: “I still have not dealt with bulimia. But I really try to overcome myself and this disease, but it is so hard. First, I overeat with ice cream or pasta, and then rush to the toilet and induce vomiting. Previously, I had to resort to this tool four times a day, and now - only once a week. This is truly a great achievement! ”
Shocking singer Lady Gaga got bulimia when she was a teenager. She always dreamed of being slim and fragile as a ballerina, but at school she was “a chubby Italian girl and often forced herself to get rid of everything she ate.” The addiction almost led to a nervous breakdown and almost deprived the voice. Gastric acid, which corrodes the esophagus and throat, began to affect the vocal cords. Now the singer supports the figure with physical activity and balanced nutrition.
Britney Spears During treatment at a rehabilitation center, she admitted to doctors that she had been suffering from bulimia since she was 16 years old. It turned out when examining the body of the singer, who was in very poor condition. During pregnancy, Britney managed to control herself, but after the birth of her children it all started again. In addition, Spears has undergone treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, she is now on the path to complete recovery.
Actress Lindsay Lohan In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, she admitted that she has bulimia. She took a rehabilitation course several times, but it’s too early to talk about her recovery, since the actress abused alcohol and drugs and still does not give up her rampant lifestyle.
In the 90s singer and composer Elton John struggled not only with drug addiction, alcohol and depression, but also with bulimia. After eating, he weighed and, if the indicators of the weights were not pleasing, he immediately got rid of food. Elton John was treated for a long time in a private clinic for bulimia.
John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1997-2007, a member of the Labor Party for many years suffering from bulimia and diabetes. The politician hoped that his recognition would draw public attention to the problem and make life easier for other victims of eating disorders.