Bulimia is an eating disorder that affects thousands of people each year in western cultures. The characteristics of the disorder have been described since 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association and include an unrealistic opinion of body image, strict dieting protocols, binge eating (or pigging out) about 2 times a week followed by inappropriate ways of preventing weight gain such as use of laxatives, self-induced vomiting or excessive exercise.
Recently research has indicated a link between genetic or hereditary factors and emotional and psychological factors that impact the development of this eating disorder.
In another study researchers have found a link between the amino acid tryptophan and the symptoms of bulimia. Tryptophan is involved in the manufacture of serotonin in the brain. This chemical is a mood and appetite regulating chemical.
The chemical link found to serotonin may help to explain the high percentage of people who have an eating disorder and who also suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. These percentages range between 20% and 95% depending upon the study.
In another study from the University of Pittsburgh researchers reported they found an abnormal level of serotonin related chemical in the spinal fluid of women who were actively bulimic.
The key to how to cure bulimia is found in psychological, emotional and chemical factors. Based on the research revealed above it is evident that through the care of a psychiatrist, who can evaluate the need for and prescribe the use of medication, people who suffer from bulimia have a greater chance for a full recovery.
How to cure bulimia also includes the integration of psychological and emotional support as well as behavioral modification programs designed by psychologists.
People who suffer from bulimia have higher rates of complete recovery when their disorder is identified and treatment is began early. The habits of binging and purging become more ingrained the longer they go on.
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Psychologists will investigate the various options as to how to cure bulimia by beginning with a history of the persons personal disorder as well as whether there has been a history of eating disorders in the family and whether the sufferer also suffers from other anxiety related disorders such as panic attacks.
The psychologist may recommend a few visits to a psychiatrist to consider short term use of medication to help normalize levels of serotonin in the body as well as begin a behavior modification program with the patient that they can use outside of therapy on their own.
Therapy will help the person to identify why they use this behavior and help to also normalize the perspective of body image. Figuring out why they use the behavior and changing the way they see themselves is a good step toward helping people to stop the symptoms of bulimia which have long term negative health effects.
How to cure bulimia isn’t a process that people should attempt on their own. The very fact that it rests on an unrealistic body image means that most patients aren’t able to police their own actions. If they were then there wouldn’t be such a problem in the first place.
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People who suffer from bulimia require support from therapists as well as from their own family and friends. A therapist may offer behavior modification, medication, and reasons why but it is up to the sufferer to make a decision to change their behavior and work toward a healthier future.