Welcome to Mom Please Help

This blog is for all eating disorder sufferers, where they can get help and useful information. It is run by William Webster BA. For Karen Phillips.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Short term effects of bulimia

People often ask me about different side effects of bulimia: about short term, long term and the most dangerous ones. This article is about short term effects which appear soon after bulimia begins.

People are also interested if the short term effects are 100% reversible or not. Well, probably most of the short term bulimia effects are reversible but it is also depends on the intensity of the bulimia.

It is also depends on association with other medical and psychological problems the person as at the time they start being bulimic. So, I would say it is all down to the individual and for many people the short term effects are 100%reversable when they stop their bulimia. But there are some people who can have irreversible damage.

Now, let’s look at them – short term effects.

1. Digestive system suffers because of vomiting. People experience bloating, indigestion, bad taste in the mouth, breath smells, pains and aches in the stomach, reflux, heart burn and nausea.

2. Swallowing can be painful if throat gets damaged while vomiting.

3. Teeth get eroded quickly from the acid during and after vomiting.

4. Heart problems can become obvious especially in people who purge often.

5. Constipation is a common concern in bulimics. It can become complicated with haemorrhoids and tears.

6. Low body temperature which makes people sensitive to cold weather. Bulimics are cold most of the time.

7. Tendency to faint.

8. Mood swings and intolerance to mental pressure.

9. Getting tired quickly and the inability to concentrate. Even simple mental tasks like reading can make some bulimics tired and even exhausted. Studying and learning can become problematic also.

10. Muscular tension can bring a lot of suffering. It appears as back pains, neck pains, tension headaches and aches or pains in other parts of the body.

11. Depression and anxiety can be very severe. The more people think and act bulimic the more depressed they become.

12. Dry skin is the problem too, accompanied by brittle hair and weak nails. Skin problems can be noticeable on sufferer’s hands especially. Knuckles can be damaged when they induce vomiting. One quick way to see if a loved one is bulimic check their knuckles, they will be all hard and wrinkled.

13. The Immune system can suffer making a person vulnerable to many infections. They experience colds and flu often.

14. People become withdrawn and avoid others.

15. Stress levels increases significantly.

16. Insomnia is common due to increased stress.

17. Distorted thoughts: constantly thinking about food, even dreaming about it.

18. Menstrual problems can range from painful periods to absence of periods.

19. Bone density decreases. Osteoporosis in severe cases of bulimia.

20. Voice changes due to damaged vocal cords.

These are the most common short term bulimia side effects. There are many more and people get affected by bulimia differently. All side effects can turn into dangerous complications. So the best way to prevent them is to stop your bulimia all together.

You can always start looking for help: read more about it, educate yourself, ask professionals, work on changing your psychology, change behavioural pattern etc. Never give up and never take the side of disease.

For more information go to www.eating-disorders-books.com

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The most dangerous side effects of bulimia.

Bulimia causes damaging side effects to the body. It can also destroy the brain, heart and the soul of the person suffering from this eating disorder.

There is no one system in the body that does not get affected by long term bulimia.

What are the most dangerous side effects? – You may ask. These are the effects people can die from. Lets look at them separately.

1. Heart complications. Many eating disorder sufferers have irregular heartbeat, slow pulse or palpitations. All these abnormalities are extremely dangerous especially if the person continues with binging-purging. People can suddenly collapse and even die if the heart suddenly stops working going into condition called “heart block”.

2. Electrolyte abnormalities. Electrolytes are the chemicals in the body that help our organs work. When people vomit they lose enormous amount electrolytes this is very bad for the body. The organs that suffer the most are: heart, kidney and brain. An abnormal amount of electrolytes can cause heart block, kidney failure and fainting. Any of these complications can end up with the sufferer dying.

3. Kidney failure. The kidneys are the organs that balance water and electrolytes in the body. Vomiting causes both dehydration and electrolyte imbalance problems. The kidneys try to compensate for this but if the vomiting continues the kidneys stop working and go into kidney failure.

4. Mental problems. Mental problems in bulimics are especially dangerous because of the high rate of suicide amongst eating disorder sufferers. When people get highly addicted to binging-purging behaviour, they often become unable to cope with everyday life and use suicide as a way to escape from the black circle they find themselves in.

5. Drug and alcohol problems are often the next step in for the bulimic. Bulimics get addicted easier than people who don’t have bulimia. This is the nature of the disorder. Of course, where drugs and alcohol are involved the incidence of accidental death increases enormously. People die from an accidental overdose of drugs and organs failure.

6. Gullet rapture. Gullet or oesophagus is the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach. When people vomit they force the food to come up from the stomach, through the gullet and up into the mouth. If the vomiting becomes severe, gullet rapture can occur. The sufferer can die from internal bleeding and shock.

To sum up, these are the most dangerous side effects of bulimia. There are many more which may not cause the death of the patient but damage the body and make it malfunction. You can prevent all these complications just by looking for help and doing something constructive about your bulimia.

Even learning more about the condition and what you can do to help yourself will push you forward towards recovery. Never stop resisting the disease and never give up fighting for your health and your life.

For more Information go to www.eating-disorders-books.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How does bulimia cause weight loss?

Bulimia and weight loss are two things that interest many people. Nowadays nearly everyone wants to know a fast and easy method to lose extra weight. Bulimia is considered by some people as one of this easy ways to become slim.

But how does it work, if it works at all?
When people become bulimic they start to throw up food after eating. Often they binge before vomiting. Most bulimics have a certain time when they binge: dinner time, sometime in the afternoon or at night.

These people believe that by vomiting they get rid of the food they ate. Because of that they think they satisfy their hunger and reduce the amount of calories at the same time. In fact, it is not exactly true.

First, when bulimics binge, some foods still get absorbed by digestive tract before they throw up. This is especially true for fatty and sugary foods, which are the bulimics favourite foods. The longer the binge, the more calories get absorbed.

Second, after vomiting bulimics have the “empty stomach effect”. Their appetite increases drastically and this can evoke another binge. Some people can have several binging-purging episodes during the day because of their inability to control the hunger pains after vomiting. And again, as a result of this they consume overall much more calories than if they had just had a normal meal.

Vomiting also changes their electrolytes and nutrient balance in the body. Their Insulin producing system suffers enormously also. The Insulin system is the system that breaks down sugar in the body. That’s why during the day bulimics often munch sweets, breads, biscuits, chocolate, cakes and the like. This can push their calorie consumption up through the roof, making them put on weight the exact opposite of what they are trying to achieve.

Of course you may say that some bulimics are slim. But most of these people are slim because they fast during the day and eat only when they are binging-purging. To say in other words those who alternate between bulimia and anorexia and never eat normally.

So, bulimia on its own will not cause any decrease in weight at all. But complicating bulimia by adding anorexic behaviours will cause severe illness and even death.

If you are thinking of using bulimia as a way to lose weight – than think again: because you are cheating on yourself and putting your life in danger also. If you have already started on bulimic path of behaviour, you should find help to stop it before the addiction becomes overpowering.

There are lots of help available and you should pick the one which suits you.

For more information go to www.eating-disorders-books.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Will a University Course really help Understand Eating Didorders?

It was with great interest I read the press release “University course to study bulimia and anorexia” 11-11-10 on the Wales online website.

The Cardiff University is putting together a Collaborative Working in Eating Disorders module to be studied as part of the School’s MSc in Advanced Practice by the university’s school of nursing.

Although this seems a noble cause I do get a little concerned when academia and governments gets involved with the treatment or suggested treatment of a disorder.

Academics are renowned for not being able to think outside the square and get bogged down with dogma, so will concentrate on the so called conventional approach to eating disorders.

Governments are even worse tending to back the established approach even if it does not work, they can’t afford any political backlash if they make a mistake. Plus it is always good to be seen as doing something in the eyes of the voters. So to save themselves down the track they also back the conventional approach.

From reading the article it seems apparent that the course will have its basis on the conventional approach to the treatment of eating disorders and this is worrying and will only produce much of the same thinking that is prevalent now.

As an eating disorder specialist, author of two books on the subject and an ex-sufferer of anorexia and bulimia myself: I know the conventional approach is not that great. I myself did the rounds of therapists etc, to no avail for years and I was training to be a doctor, so you would think it should have worked.

I am not the only person who has gone through multiple treatments only to find they did not work; I get emails everyday from people telling me the same thing.
Here are a few abbreviated emails.

I am helping a young adult girl whom I have become extremely fond of!... At the age of 14 she became anorexic and eventually bulimic. She has been in clinics a number of times, but every time she just goes home things just continue where she left off...
Charleen SA.

My daughter is 22 years old and she was suffering ED for 2 years... For your information she has been treated in the ED clinic as outpatient, visiting the internist doctor and the psychologist regularly to no avail...
Li Australia.

My daughter has been in and out the eating disorder clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the last 4 years. I’m tired of them, she continues to struggle...

I took her to our health care Clinic and they seemed to have a handle on the disorder and they seemed to be helping with all kinds of counseling, nutritionist, psychiatrist and nursing... but once home she "back-slid" back into binging and purging.

These emails are very typical from people contacting me still searching for answers when the conventional treatments have failed.

There is a very good reason why this happens and why sufferers fail to get better after showing promise while in the clinic? Conventional treatment methods do not confront the disorder where it lives in the subconscious mind of the sufferer.

They do not understand that an eating disorder is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

But unlike the person who has to wash their hands 100 times a day, or the sufferer who has to check to see if the gas is turned off 200 times before they can leave their home. These people get nothing but pain from their OCD, whereas the ED sufferer actually gets pleasure from their disordered eating habits.

This extra element of pleasure adds a different dimension to the disorder and is most difficult to treat with conventional approaches used in clinics and by therapists. Sitting and talking to a therapist rehashing old hurts for hours is not going to help. This is a logical approach to a disorder that is not the least bit logical. After all why would someone purposely starve themselves to death and know they are doing it?

In my view there is really only one method that can beat an eating disorder and that is one that attacks the ED where it lives in the subconscious mind of the sufferer. To do this you have to use the power of Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability to change the way our brain functions by how we think, feel and act.

With the use of specialized methods to promote positive feelings, emotions, action and pictures we can change the faulty neuronal pathways and negative programming that has occurred in mind of the sufferer. The beauty of using a specialized neuroplasticity approach to curing eating disorders is it can be used at home.

This is the place all ED sufferers fail and relapse back into their old habits, because the triggers that control their habits are all at home, they are not in the clinic or therapists rooms.

I believe that any university course however noble it may seem if it does not incorporate the use of neuroplasticity and a method to change the neuronal pathways in the brain will not help. This will only produce a whole new batch of conventional method thinkers to the detriment of the eating disorder sufferer.

To read more about the power of neuroplasicity for eating disorders go to

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Attachment theory and development of eating disorders.

Attachment theory explains the bond or tie between a child and an attachment figure, a parent or guardian. Nowadays it is starting to become obvious that children with insecure attachment styles are prone to eating disorders more so than children with secure attachments.

When children interact with parents in the first 5-7 years of life some children feel that their parents are a reliable source of comfort and security. These children most likely will develop secure attachment style and become well-adjusted adults.

Other children may feel that their parents (or caregivers) are not that reliable and don’t give them the sense of security, support and comfort when it’s needed. Some parents may even reject their children in terms of providing emotional comfort. These children probably will develop an insecure attachment style and will compensate for their emotional discomfort with food, alcohol and/or drugs when they grow up.

Now we know that a lot of eating disorder sufferers turn to their disorder to find security, comfort and emotional stability. Food is something that is always readily available and will bring temporary emotional comfort to a sufferer: so it seems an easy way out of their emotional problems.

There is no blame on the parents of course because eating disorders are complex and many factors have to come together for a person to develop the disorder. But what we do know now is that a cold parental attitude, very high expectations placed on a child, parental abuse or rejection are all factors that can force a child to turn to an eating disorder.

As a rule, most eating disorders sufferers (nearly all) have insecure attachment styles: anxious and avoidant styles. Because attachment style is developed in the first years of life, it is understandable that a predisposition to an eating disorder is built earlier in life (probably in the first 5-7 years of life) that previously realised.

A Childs attitude toward their parents (caregivers) is also directly connected to their attitude of themself, their body and self-esteem, their thoughts about the world and the people around them. It is also connected to their perception of safety (about the world being a safe place or not). All these factors as we now know influence the development of eating disorders in young children and teenagers.

To conclude, attachment style is something we should look at when talking about the prevention of eating disorders. We need to educate parents regarding how they can make their children feel more secure and comfortable inside their own self. Developing a secure attachment style in children will help prevent eating disorders in many young people.

Read more at http://www.eating-disorders-books.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How To Meditate For Eating Disorders.

In this article I am going to help you learn how to meditate with the aim of stopping your eating disorder. After you learn to do this, you will attain a level in your mind where you will be able to spark your imagination into letting go your eating disorder.

Amazing things happen while doing meditation and the peace you find in calming and freeing your body and mind is awesome. The more you meditate, the deeper you go within yourself and the easier it will be for you to separate the eating disorder from your own self.

One of the major problems with eating disorder sufferers are that people can't separate themselves from their ED and believe that the thoughts the eating disorder is sending them are their own thoughts: which they are not.

By realizing "your own self" you will know which thoughts come from you and which come from the eating disorder. Your body and mind will benefit also. At first, you will find that worries, anger and the feelings of guilt are absent while you are meditating. As time goes on, they stay away for longer, until one day they are gone for good.

Feelings of being obsessed with food and body weight will gradually fade too. If your food obsession returns in a few weeks after starting your meditation, then by increasing the time and deepening the regular meditation will neutralize the feelings that make your body sick. Here is all you have to do to begin to meditate.

When you awaken in the morning sit on the edge of the bed and set the alarm clock for fifteen minutes in advance in case you drift off to sleep during the exercise. Close your eyes and look upward at a 20-degree angle. This position of the eyes alone is a proven trigger to produce a meditative state in the brain.

Then, slowly, start counting backwards from one hundred to one. You should focus just on counting and not on anything else. If you keep your mind totally on counting only you will soon be in meditation state.

Do this counting technique at least twice a day in the morning after waking up and at night just before go to bed.

If you stick with this technique and do it for at least 10 days without break you will notice that your obsessive thoughts that make you binge-purge, starve yourself or over-exercise will not bother you as much. You will soon realize that a meditation state is incompatible with your obsession, anger, worries and guilt.

For some of you who find this technique too difficult to do, there are other methods to meditate available that may suit you better, so don't dismiss it. Guided meditation methods for eating disorders are readily available and you can certainly try them out and get great results and success with your health and happiness.

To read more about meditation for eating disorders go to http://www.meditation-sensation.com

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How to Turn Binge Eating into Healthy Eating?

If you want to turn your binge eating habit into healthy eating habit, first of all you must BELIEVE that you can do it. This is the first and most important step in the road to recovery from binge eating.

Put it this way: if you believe you can eat healthy without overeating – that means you will be able to eat healthy sooner or later. If you don’t believe it – you will not be able to eat healthy and it does not matter what kind of therapy you undergo, unless you start believing.

“But how can I believe in my ability to eat healthy if I always get overwhelmed with these unbearable urges to binge?” – you may ask.

Yes, urges to binge are strong but nevertheless it is possible to overcome them. Many people did and you can too.

You see, urges are just thoughts and feelings you get before starting to binge. Fortunately, these binging thoughts normally get weaker if you do some changes in your daily routine.

Here're the important points:
1.Start imagining yourself slim (or have a slim picture of yourself in your mind)
2.Draw a schematic picture of yourself on a piece of paper where you are slim and happy.
3.Set 30 min a day to sit quietly, close your eyes and visualise a slim, healthy you. Attach happy feelings to this picture of yourself.
4.If you have a special time when you binge (for instance, some people binge eat after work, or after school) – meditate every time after work, school or any time close to your binge eating time.
5.Never eat alone. Get a friend or relative to share dinner with you.
6.When you eat look at yourself from the distance – that mean observe yourself from the 3rd person perspective. Mentally comment what’s happening while you eat, for example “ She is now eating her Caesar salad delicately and calmly because she is a lady. She is chewing slowly because she is enjoying the taste of it. She is talking to her friend about what happened during the day.”
7.Learn to observe your own behaviour and make a regular mental comment of your own behaviour during the day. From the time you wake up – do mental commenting on your behaviour as if you observe yourself from a distance.
8.Don’t keep too much food you can binge on in fridge. Put more fruits and vegetables in the fridge to in case you get hungry.
9.Regular exercise changes the feelings from negative to more positive because of endorphins release. So, start regular physical activity – this will reduce your urges to binge (gradually).
10.Always remain yourself that you don’t need so much food to keep you healthy. Only moderation in food consumption will make you happy and healthy.

Now, I've saved the best for last.
If it looks to you like too much to do , than – wouldn’t it be easier for you if all the information will be installed into your subconscious mind by someone else - just by listening a hypnotic voice and putting you in a meditational state? You can do that by using special Mindfulness Training for binge eating / overeating. It is easy and very effective.

To read more about mindfulness training for eating disorders go to http://www.meditation-sensation.com