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, December 28, 2008

Eating Disorders are a result of brain plasticity

What is brain plasticity? And how is it related to developing an eating disorder?

Brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, is the lifelong ability of the brain to change itself based on new experiences. When we say “the brains ability to change” we don’t mean something mystical or just “spiritual”.

What we are alluding to is the brains ability to reorganise or rewire its neuronal pathways that has lead to certain wanted or unwanted actions or behaviours. For example, in case of people suffering with eating disorders it is unwanted actions like negative thoughts about their body image that lead to the development of at ED. This could have manifested itself by starving, overexercising or binging and purging over a period of time.

When people start having bad thoughts and feelings about themselves their brain begins to develop certain new neuronal wiring (or connections) to produce certain behaviours. When people continue to acting on pathological behaviours like starving, binging-purging, over exercising etc: these neuronal pathways grow stronger and stronger. Basically it is what you think is what you get.

You see any behaviour we have or regular thoughts we think there are certain brain maps developed and pathways formed. These new brain maps can start to take up a huge amount of space in our brain until they become all powerful. Eating disorders take up a huge amount of space in the brain because they affect nearly all aspects of the sufferer’s life.

So, when it comes to eating disorder treatment if it does not work on changing the old neuronal pathways it is not going to work. What has to happen is for the sufferer to develop new neuronal pathways and build them around the old faulty pathological ones that is their ED. When you start using these new pathways (the healthy pathways) they become stronger and stronger and eventually they will replace the old pathological ones (the old pathological ones will fade).

You see, when you realise that it is your brain making you do things in a defective way, you will understand that to create behavioural change you only need to make your brain work differently. And you can do that by focusing your attention differently when the ED urge strikes you.

The capacity of the brain to change doesn’t diminish with age or with the duration of the problem you have. Many people think that it is easier to stop an eating disorder early on when the disorder first appears; and that if you have had the disorder for many years it is nearly impossible to stop it.

This is not true and is totally false. People can stop their eating problems at any stage of the process, because the human brain is plastic and changeable with any repetitive activity we do. Now it does take effort to change the way you think but it is not impossible.

The first thing is to come to the realization that what your brain is telling you to do may not be correct so there is no need to act on it every time. Your brain is not your mind and you can influence it with better thoughts and actions.

Your brain is only an organ sitting between your ears. But your mind is what you do, what decision you make, and what perception about yourself you give to others. Of course this does not mean you have an abnormal brain, it is only the abnormal thoughts and behaviours that have lead you to having an ED. It has been proven beyond doubt that your mind, your conscious behaviours and thoughts can change the structure of your brain.

To conclude, eating disorders are the result of brain’s ability to change its own structure in relation to false actions and thoughts over time. Because you have changed your brains wiring to fit a certain pathological behaviour in your brain map you have developed an ED. You have responded negatively to certain eating disorder triggers that you have built around you over time.

You probably would have never developed an eating disorder if you had responded differently to these triggers. For instance: if you did not get upset when someone at school called you “fat” or if you didn’t care when your ex-boyfriend dumped you for a skinnier girl, or a similar event. You would probably never have an eating disorder now. But because you did pay too much of attention to it, you have to suffer for a long time.

But it is not all bad news. The good news is that because your brain is plastic you can change your brain to the better: exactly the same way you changed it when you developed the faulty pathological behaviour in the first place. With focused attention, mindfulness and by building new neural pathways around the old ones, research has shown you can change you brain and hence your ED.

This is the only cure for eating disorders – to change your brain using your mind to reverse your old thought patterns that got you into this mess in the first place.

To read about eating disorders help go to http://www.eatingdisorder-institute.com

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Male Eating Disorders on the Increase

Eating Disorder in Males.

Eating disorder in males is rapidly on the increase: why it is not sure but it just is.We can probably suggest that it is the pressure of social and work environment that is responsible.

In dealing with sufferers of both anorexia and bulimia I have found a growing tread in anorexia in males. I keep getting the same answer that it is social and work place pressures to perform at higher and higher levels that are starting to take its toll.

As reported by Professor Lacey in the Independent ( Monday, 22 September 2008) that revealed the number of men treated for anorexia – "manorexia" – has increased by 67 per cent in the past five years. Men now account for between 5 and 10 per cent of all eating disorder sufferers a worrying statistic.

But Bulimia in men is still the more prominent complaint we come across. Bulimia is more easily hidden that anorexia as the sufferer can be of normal weight and looks normal to family and friends. After all there is this perception that males must be these tough guys and keep their feelings to themselves.

Of course this is totally ridiculous and is another example of social pressure being applied to males. This is a hangover from the past where men had to be men regardless of how they felt inside, emotions were for women only.
But when people in high places start to come forward like ex deputy prime minister of the UK John Prescott and his battle with bulimia and says, hey I have a problem; then other men start to think it may be time to seek out help also.

Contrarily to popular held belief, anorexia and bulimia have their roots in the same place. Both stem from the impact of negative emotions and constantly added pressure on males to act in a manly way, even in the most trying of situations.

These negative emotions are absorbed by the subconscious mind of the sufferer and start a reaction in the mind that is then built upon as more negative is added. Eventually these negatives reach the point where they start to control the emotions and thoughts of the sufferer and an eating disorder is born.

Once the eating disorder is established it controls the victim wholly and solely. I use the word victim, and victim the sufferers are, because no matter what they tell themselves they are powerless to stop their destructive eating habits.

There is only one way to defeat an eating disorder, either anorexia or bulimia and that is to attack it where in lives, in the subconscious mind of the sufferer, in my option no other method will work, period.

To read more about Male eating disorders go to http://www.anorexia-cure.com/bulimia-cure/Male-Bulimia2.htm

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Severe Anorexia: What is the Main Step to Cure it?

Treatment for severe anorexia should start from hospitalization to
restore the person's body weight. The duration of hospitalization can
be different and depends on how fast the anorexic gains their weight.

In average many experts believe that 10-12 weeks with full nutritional
support are required to restore weight in case of anorexia.

Weight gain goals should be set by a doctor according to person's BMI
(body mass index). But in average 1-2 pounds a week is a good goal to
strive for and it is what normally happens in hospitals.

Calorie consumption can vary but severely malnourished people need to
begin with as little as 1500 calories per day (to avoid stomach pain
and vomiting) and then progress to higher calorie consumption over time.

People who are unable to eat have to be fed through tube or intravenously.
Tube feeding has many disadvantages and some professionals believe that
this method discourages people from normal eating in the future.
Nevertheless for some patients it can be the only way to gain weight.

Intravenous feeding is when a tube gets inserted into a vein and
nutritional substances go into a blood stream. This way of feeding
can also create some biochemical imbalances for patients and is only
used in extremely severe cases of anorexia.

Severe anorexia patients also can have complications and organ failures
due to long starvation and malnourishment. This has to be corrected
while the person stays in the hospital. Kidney failure, heart failure,
electrolyte imbalances, early osteoporosis are common complaints for
severe anorexics.

The second stage of treatment begins after a person reached an acceptable
body weight. This stage is the longest and the most difficult one
because many anorexics relapse at this stage and go back to their old
habits (losing all the weight they have just gained).

This happens because they still continue to see themselves as overweight
in a mirror and feel that they need to lose weight instead of maintaining
it or gaining more. They still continue to focus on their body image
and forgetting about all other things in their life.

At this stage they do it subconsciously and their perception becomes
their reality. The main issue that has to be addressed here is changing
their perception by affecting their subconscious mind (the part of human
mind responsible for feelings, internal believes and perception).

Failing to change the subconscious mind of the sufferer causes the
symptoms of anorexia to come back all the time and doesn't matter how
long she/he stayed in hospital, they relapse. Our subconscious is formed
at a very young age and if any subconscious blockages that do occur
they are formed with “child logic” and continue to impact on the sufferer
in adulthood.

Anorexics have many subcounsious blockages about body image and food.
However because they exist at the subcounsious level they are neither
aware of them nor able to judge whether or not they are logical.

To conclude, the major step to curing severe anorexia lies not just in
reaching and maintaining a certain amount of weight. It lies in
identifying and eliminating the subcounsious blockages from the
anorexic mind and changing the person's focus from weight and food to
other useful things in life.

For more about how to change the subconscious mind of anorexics go to
Dr Irina Webster

eating disorders help go to http://www.womenhealthsite.com/eating_disorders.htm

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Anorexia Side Effects

Anorexia is not just about weight loss and refusing to eat. Anorexia has major side effects on the mental, physical and emotional state of a person.

Contracting anorexia means getting a new life style, new coping strategies, new relationships, new thought pattern and a whole new way of living and none of it is good.

You can say that a new sufferer becomes like a completely new person, different from what she/he used to be.

One of the very distinctive side effects of anorexia is a distorted perception about themselves. It is related to their own body image, their self being and also how they perceive other people as well.

The main measurement of all becomes how skinny they are. Anorexics perceive that their worth is directly related to their weight. They feel and think the same way about other people also.

For example a 19 year old anorexic girl I was talking to said once:" I know that the more weight I lose the better and stronger person I become. I understand that all overweight people are lazy, fat and no good".

But the meaning of being overweight for her is far away from reality. She perceives even normal weight people as overweight, including herself. She was already only 49 kg (height 164cm) but she still saw herself like a fat and overweigh person.

She sees this picture because of the other major side effect of anorexia called "broken eye syndrome". And because anorexics see a wrong picture of themselves and others they want to loose more and more weight and can't stop starving themselves and over exercising.

Their relationships with other people change a lot since they contracted their anorexia because they need to spend all their time counting calories, exercising and thinking over a new strategy to lose more weight. Plus anorexics become very judgmental and picky and loose interest in others and everything they did before. All these prevent them from having a normal relationship with others.

And the other side effect of anorexia is their changing respond to everyday stress. This encompasses everything that happens to them, anorexics respond by increasing their exercising time, cutting down on calories and withdrawing further away from other people.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ways to Cure Bulimia Nervosa.

By Dr Irina Webster

There are many ways to treat bulimia but not very many of them really cure bulimia.
Popular treatment is going to the doctors or clinics or a counselor. How helpful are these? Statistic shows that nearly 90% of suffers relapse after attending these kinds of treatment.

What happens to these people is they feel temporary better while they are in the clinic or in a doctor's room, but lose all sense of self-control around food when they come back home or while on their own and unprotected.

The next way of treatment is group therapy where sufferers are supposed to get ongoing support and help from other sufferers and a group leader. But this way has many flaws and is not helpful either: it can actually become harmful to many sufferers.

The reasons of this are that while in the group there is often a competition for attention. In the group patients often deliberately get worse or engage in more symptoms just to get extra attention from each other or the therapist. This kind of competition always exists in eating disorder help groups but on many different levels. Sometimes it can get out of control and cause a lot of harm to some members of the group, the most venerable ones.

Also, while in the group people learn from each other. And they learn not necessary only the good things. They learn a lot of bad stuff too. Like say if a young woman has never heard of drinking ipecac to induce vomiting and learns this technique in group therapy. She may try the technique out herself at home; instead of getting positive help she has just learned how to mask her disorder even more. This can also have a detrimental effect on the group leaving the group leader or member feeling responsible for teaching her.

Some doctors prescribe drugs to treat eating disorders but this also does not fix the problem and in the long run even makes things worse.

The only way to cure bulimia in my opinion is to eliminate the reason why people have it.
You see what happens is that people understand that their bulimia is slowly killing them and want to stop but they can't.

It seems like something inside the person is stronger than their own free will and controls their logical thinking.

What is this something?
It is basically another part of our brain called the subconscious mind that not only is responsible for people's feelings, emotions and non-conscious actions that keep them alive, but it can also work against your own free will.

It is the part of the mind that is responsible for our actions when we do something but we don't know why we did it.

The subconscious mind operates on feelings and senses. And very often people can't even describe it logically because it consists of thoughts and feelings. Sufferers just do what the subconscious mind wants them to do.

So, the main reason people have bulimia lies in the subconscious mind and to stop bulimia one needs to get rid off the subconscious blockages that always keep you being a bulimic against your will.
Subconscious blockages are described by many sufferers as being like voices or senses they have that make them binge and purge.

If someone has a subconscious emotional blockage preventing her/him from stopping their bulimia, they are unlikely to realize it. An example of this is a bulimic who doesn’t realize that they have "broken eye syndrome" - they see in a mirror a different picture from everyone else: basically their own mind is lying to them.

Subconscious blockages cannot be identified and changed at the rational thinking level; this is where most conventional treatments fail: simply because they think logical actions will fix it.
For example, the “broken eye syndrome" gets worse and worse the longer you have bulimia, because the bulimic brain is constantly working on false information and is reinforcing false beliefs. You can talk logic to a bulimia sufferer all day long and it will not help one bit: because bulimia is not logical.

To conclude, identifying and eliminating your subconscious blockages is the best and really the only way you will ever cure your bulimia. There are special programs that help bulimics to do this. One of the programs that works in this direction and has proved to be helpful is at http://www.bulimia-cure.com

Thursday, May 1, 2008

How to spot Bulimia signs in Children

By Dr Irina Webster.

What can you do if you are a parent who suspects their child has Bulimia how do you know for sure?

I have been ask this question so many times by lots of worried parents who think their child may have bulimia but don’t know any of the warning signs.

If you are one of these parents then here is a list of things to look out for, I will start with simple things first:

1: Look for an excessive amount of food that is missing. Things like packets of biscuits you have just bought and they have disappeared overnight. Packets of sweets gone without you even having one yourself. Look for easy accessible foods that seem to be gone faster than what is normal for your family use.

2: The child is starting to act unusual around meal times. Being a bit anxious and not wanting to eat certain food groups, or may play with their food. They may say they have eaten at a friends place but then start to raid the food cupboard for easy food soon after dinner.

3: You notice that the child may have lots of food rappers in their bedroom hidden under the bed or in their trash basket. Half eaten candy bars or potato crisp packets hidden in places that are unusual.

4: The child may start to miss family gatherings or not want to go out to events where they normally would have, like picnics or parties preferring to stay home. Even making excuses they feel ill or have a headache.

5: The child may start to do more exercise that they use to do. Go for long runs or bike rides and start to really push themselves to the extreme.

These are all little things but point to a change in the Childs habits although you can’t come to the conclusion that your Child has Bulimia from these alone. You need more concrete evidence to go with these before you can be sure.

Bulimics normally become very good at hiding their condition from family and friends. Bulimia has been described as secretive and sneaky and it most certainly is.
So you as a parent have to become just as sneaky if you suspect your child of this disorder.

Here are some more concrete things to look out for.

1: The child after finishing their meal disappears to the bathroom for a long time. This starts to become a habit and is a surefire clue to the child being bulimic.

2: You notice the smell of toothpaste on their breath when they come from the bathroom, or a sour smell on their breath.

3: You start to find laxatives in their bedroom or empty packets in their trash bin.

4: They start to become really edgy and anxious for no apparent reason and may start telling you to mind your own business if you say anything to them. They act out of character towards you.

5: They start to look sickly and feel the cold more that was normal for them. They may start having problems with their teeth or complain of a sore throat all the time.

6: They start to become obsessed with there weight and are looking at the bathroom scales all the time, or asking you if they look fat or looking in the mirror more that they use to do.

If you noticed a number of these symptoms together then there is a good chance your child may have Bulimia. But do not simply confront them as this can drive the child away or warn them you are on to them, so they may become even sneakier.

You should educate yourself first from people who have faced what you are facing now. One of the best educational information site around on this subject is at

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bulimia in Men.

Most people, who know little about a disease like bulimia and this includes many journalists, say why can’t they just stop: I wish it was as simple as that but it is not. Like Mr. Prescott said he got some weird satisfaction from binging and then purging and all bulimics get the same thing.

When a bulimic purges they get a release of a pleasure hormone not unlike the endorphins an athlete gets after exercising. This feel good hormone is one of the reasons a bulimic continues on with his erratic eating behavior. The problem is the rush they get is very short lived, so they have to binge and purge even more. So asking a bulimic to simply stop is like asking a non-sufferer to give up breathing air: it is not going to happen.

Most non-sufferers and many others think that you can beat bulimia with logic and by pointing out the errors of their ways they will stop. But again this is an impossibility and simply cannot happen. Mr. Prescott and his wife knew for years it was wrong and that he was in danger of serious medical problems, but he could not stop. If bulimia was a logical disease then he should have been able to stop when he realized he was doing harm to himself, but he couldn’t.

This is because bulimia lives in the subconscious mind of the sufferer and the subconscious mind does not work on logic, it works on feelings and emotions and these are certainly not logical. The longer the bulimic has the disorder the more ingrained it becomes in the subconscious mind of the sufferer.

There is a way you can see how the subconscious mind works for yourself. The next time you explode at one of the kids or go off for no apparent reason, just ask yourself if it was logical. I bet you do not have the slightest idea why it happened; it is because it came from your subconscious mind and not your logical mind.

There is only one way you can really stop bulimia and that is through the subconscious mind where the bulimia lives. It lives there because it was programmed by the sufferer to be there over months or even years as was the case with Mr. Prescott.

If you are a bulimic or if you are a family member of a bulimic, the best place to find out more about how the subconscious mind works is at www.bulimia-cure.com where it explains all about the connection with the subconscious mind and bulimia. This site has a very big success rate in treating Bulimia and Anorexia all around the world and is run by Dr Irina Webster an expert in eating disorders.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Emotional Consequences of Eating Disorders.

By William Webster BA,

Eating Disorders can only be described as a living hell. They consume every minute of your waking hours where the sufferer is so caught up in counting calories, reading the back of packets, measuring and weighing food, thinking when and where they are going to binge and how to sneak away to throw it all back up.

They eat a piece of cake and then they feel compelled to go for a 10k run to burn off the calories they think they have just consumed. Or they swallow laxatives and spend the next 3 hours on the toilet. Or they simply put their fingers down their throat and throw up.

Now do you see why these disorders are a living hell?

Not only that but they are slowly killing themselves and reducing their lifespan by 10 to 20 years.And the really sad part is they know they are doing it but can't stop.

Most people’s reaction to this is for the anorexic to just start eating again with comments like ‘eat you idiot just eat’. Or for the bulimic to stop binging and purging what’s so hard about that, do this and all will be well.
But I wish it was that simple, but it is not.

You see an ED is a deep psychological problem that lives in the subconscious mind of the sufferer and it really has nothing to do with food. Food is only a symptom of the disorder, a way that the sufferer feels they have some kind of control in their lives. Sure in the beginning to the sufferer this may have been the case, but in the end the ED controls them 100%. It dictates everything they do or say and controls them with an iron fist.

To you the casual reader you may not understand how such a thing can happen to someone and it is hard for you to think of a reason why. But it can be caused by many things even something as simple as being called fat at school.
Or just wanting to shed a few kilos to look better or it can be a violent episode in their life like sexual assault or verbal abuse.
It could even be as simple as not getting enough love and attention from their parents.
No matter what the cause is, to the sufferer these are very real.

I have been told by many sufferers that their ED is like getting on an escalator, you know you are on it but you can’t find a way off. This is because you are so totally consumed by the ED you have become a slave to it.

I will make it perfectly clear, if you know someone with and ED then realize they can not simply stop by themselves.
It would be like you trying to stop breathing air, it can’t be done.

So what to do? Well the good way that actually works is to find a self help program that will address all the things that stop the ED sufferer from getting better. One that deals with the problem in a sympathetic way and is non-confrontational
where the sufferer knows they are in a safe environment.

Emotional consequences can be eased by finding a good self help program if a person is willing to understand and accept that she/he has a problem. If the person denies the problem she/he probably needs to find extra help from a reliable source.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bulimia Symptoms That You Can Observe

By Dr Irina Webster

People with bulimia are very secretive about their disorder. For this reason it is very difficult to notice anything as an observer. Bulimics look normal to other people. Even close family members initially have difficulty seeing what is going on with the person.

But you can observe some specific bulimic features if you know what to look for. These features are very subtle but are visible once you realize they are there.

Surprisingly, being extremely thin and underweight is not common for bulimia sufferers, even though people with bulimia are concerned about being fat.

Bulimics usually are about normal weight or even can be slightly overweight; some can be thin too.

But when you closely observe their behavior and know what to look for you can notice increased anxiety close to meal times. Some sufferers can be reluctant to share their meal times with others. They will do things like refusing to go out to a restaurant or a family dinner. Some may refuse to sit at the table to eat while munching something on the run.

If they do go out for a meal, they may disappear to the bathroom straight after eating and stay away for a long period of time.

Sometimes when they eat with others they only eat very small amounts of food, drink lots of water, separate the food on their plate and make strange choices and combinations of food.

Looking at their hands you may notice damaged knuckles from inducing vomiting, although this sign can take some time to develop. Discoloration of the skin on the outer surface of hands can also be noticed on bulimics.

Their face may appear to be puffy with small broken blood vessels under the skin. This is because the salivary glands increase in size making their cheeks look bigger especially below the area of the ears.

Dry lips and small ulcers on the lips or around the mouth are common in periods of extreme vomiting and look like cold sores.

People who use laxatives and diuretics will have extremely frequent visits to the bathroom. In these cases signs of dehydration can be noticed, like dark circles around the eyes, dizziness, nausea, dry skin and low blood pressure are common in sufferers.

There are bulimics who exercise excessively. They follow a strong exercise regiment and become fanatical about their running, jumping, cycling etc.

Many bulimics have what is called 'broken eye" syndrome. This is when they perceive themselves as fat, non-attractive and think that others are better then them. They look in a mirror and see a big fat person standing there even if they are not. These individuals have low self esteem and look very shy and non-confident among others.

Bulimics often complain of stomachaches that occur around meal times. Diarrhea or constipation can bother them as well.

Their teeth can become discolored and decayed fast. Bad breath is one of the common bulimics symptoms especially for those who are less hygienic.

If you ask a bulimic girl about her periods she may say that it is irregular or even absent, it depends on how much she vomits per day.

To sum up, there are many bulimia symptoms but most of them are so subtle and difficult to notice it is hard for the average person to tell. If you suspect that someone has bulimia look for the signs described above.

And if the person has at least two or three of these symptoms especially disappearing to the bathroom after meals, she is likely to have the disease. This means she may be in danger of becoming very sick and she needs help. To learn how you can help go to http://www.mom-please-help.com

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Long Term Effects of Bulimia Nervosa.

Bulimia affects different organs. And the longer you have bulimia the more organs get affected and damaged.

The organs that suffer the most are: heart, kidney, brain, digestive system, bones, skin and endocrine glands.

The heart gets damaged from the constant electrolyte imbalances caused by continuous purging and becomes weaker the longer the bulimia continues. Some people even can die from this complication when a weak heart goes into a "heart block". This is when the heart suddenly stops beating due to extremely low potassium or other mineral deficiency induced by vomiting and laxatives abuse.

Kidney damage is very common among long term bulimics. The kidneys are organs that normally correct mineral abnormalities in the body. But when a person's mineral balance is constantly disturbed, like in case of bulimia, the kidneys are under enormous strain to correct it and eventually they get damaged.

The brain suffers also from the moment bulimia starts. People have distorted thought patterns like depression and anxiety. The longer bulimia goes on for the stronger the addiction to binging and purging becomes. The long time effects of brain damage from bulimia are: suicidal thoughts, self-cutting and other self-harm symptoms. Impulsive behavior can occur and people can become less responsible for their action.

The digestive system also gets affected badly. The stomach experience delays in empting its food content and people suffer from pains in the abdominal area, bloating, acid reflux, stomach ulcers and esophageal problems.

In long standing bulimia cases sufferers loose the feeling of being hungry or full. Sometimes their taste distorts which makes them eat strange combinations of food or experience cravings (for example craving to eat very salty or sour things).

The bones become weak due to the development of low bones density after many years of suffering from bulimia. People can and do complain about their bone's aching plus they have lots of pain and the bones can break from even minimal strain or pressure.

Skin looses its youthful look even at a relatively young age. Dry skin, inflammation of the skin, abnormal irritation and ongoing pimples are common problems for bulimics.
Hair loss due to mineral and protein depletion is inevitable in long term bulimia.

The endocrine glands eventually stop working properly and produce fewer hormones than the body needs: this makes a person age quickly and loose muscle tone.

Menstruation becomes irregular or stops and because of this a woman is unable to conceive and have a baby.

To sum up, the long term effects of bulimia nervosa can be extremely dangerous. And treatment for this disorder becomes more complicated the longer it goes on.
The best way is to prevent these dangerous effects from happening is to treat the disease sooner rather than later.

The best thing is to start educating yourself and your family about what to do and what to change at home to help the sufferer. Home and family support are proven to be the best way of treating this condition. But it has to be the right help and the right support. To learn more about it go to http://www.bulimia-cure.com

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fluid Retention in Bulimia Nervosa.

Many bulimia sufferers complain about fluid retention in their body from time to time. The symptoms of this problem are: swelling of the legs and feet plumped up fingers and hands, feelings of puffiness over the whole body.

These problems are especially relevant to the people who vomit often, use diuretics and laxatives to control their weight. The reasons for the fluid retention in bulimics can be many. One reason is electrolyte disturbances like the loss of potassium, sodium, calcium and other minerals; this can be caused by their vomiting, diarrhea from laxative abuse and extreme urine output after taking diuretics.

The other reason for fluid retention is possible kidney damage and this happens more often among long time sufferers of bulimia. The kidneys get damaged mainly because of long time electrolyte disturbances in the blood stream. The kidney is the organ that normally corrects electrolyte abnormality in the body, but when their mineral balance is constantly abnormal it puts a lot of strain on the kidneys and they suffer.

The third possible reason for developing fluid retention is a low level of protein in the body. All eating disorders sufferers are at a high risk of developing low levels of protein as a consequence of constant dieting and not getting enough protein out of their food.

All three reasons can make the body retain abnormal amounts of water and can have serious consequences on your health. If you are a sufferer and notice signs of edema (fluid retention) anywhere in your body – immediately go to see a doctor or other medical professional. Don't wait until it gets worse, you have to understand that there are underlying reasons for the edema and can be really serious. Some kind of intervention should be done immediately (like correcting your electrolyte balance with medications that will help your kidneys cope better).

The other thing I should mention here is that some bulimics complain about heaviness and puffiness in their body that they think it is due to fluid retention but it is not. It is a perceptional problem they have that is called "broken eye syndrome". This is when a person perceives that they are bigger then they really are.
They feel that their body is expanding and getting bigger everyday but in reality there is no abnormal fluid retention. It is only the person's perception that there is: so they take more laxatives or diuretics and the problem gets worse.

To conclude, fluid retention in bulimia sufferers can occur for a number of different reasons: some of them are more serious than others. One thing is for certain all of them need to be corrected sooner or later. The best way to do this is to get checked immediately by a medical professional to avoid serious complications. It is also important to work on your bulimia problem immediately. Try to get help to deal with it and change the way you think and feel about food, your life and everything else.
It has been shown that the best way to do this is with a family home treatment program that teaches you how to overcome your bulimia.
For more information go to http://www.bulimia-cure.com

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dangers in Bulimia

Bulimia affects the whole body. But the most obvious effects it has is on the nervous system, mental state, gastro-intestinal, cardio system, kidney, skin, bones and the hormonal system.

The most common and the most dangerous is mineral depletion (Potassium, Sodium, Calcium etc). This has an negative effect on the heart, bones and skin of the sufferer.

As a result of the mineral depletion a person develops weakness of the heart, low pulse, low blood pressure, dehydration and dizziness. A sufferer can faint easily, get tired quickly, and feel lethargic during the day.

The most serious of all is electrolyte disturbance that can lead to cardiac arrest, when the heart of the sufferer stops beating as a result of extremely low levels of Potassium and other electrolytes.

The digestive system is also badly affected. What happens is the gastric acid from the vomiting cause erosions of esophagus and throat. This could cause the stomach to experience a delay in empting, making the person feel abnormally full even after eating a very small amount of food.

The bowel then becomes sluggish making a sufferer constipated. The other symptoms are blood in the vomit, abdominal cramps, bloating and sore throat.

The teeth of bulimics get eroded quickly and salivary glands become inflamed which makes their face look swollen.

Mental aspects of bulimia also becomes obvious virtually straight away in the early stages of the disorder. People appear to loose a sense of normal appetite. They have difficulty understanding their feelings whether they are full or hungry and can't control their eating behavior in most cases.

Bulimics also have high levels of anxiety and depression in some cases.

Because of binging –purging episodes sufferers withdraw into themselves and move away from their friends and other people.

Feelings of guilt often goes to the extreme in bulimics and they suffer enormously from it.

The other organs that will become affected as the disease progresses is the bones. Low bone density and osteoporosis at a relatively young age can be a serious problem for the sufferers.

People often complain about aches and pains in their bones and joints. The spine has to be checked regularly because weakening of the spine can cause severe back aches and other problems.

Skin complications can occur like a change in skin color. Also poor nourishment can cause circulation problems in the skin.

After years of suffering from bulimia women notice that their skin becomes dry and grey, signs of inflammation and irritation can appear from time to time and the radiance of youth disappears completely.

To conclude, bulimia nervosa has a lot of dangers. Some women will develop more and worse complications then others. But the best way to eliminate complications is to avoid them. Bulimia can be treated successfully especially with family support and understanding. Read more about family treatment go to.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weight Gain For Anorexia Sufferers

Getting people with anorexia to gain weight and eat more is the number one thing in helping them get better. Increasing weight for anorexics improves their health and helps them think clearly. There is a strong connection in anorexia between weight and thoughts: the lower the weight goes their thoughts get vaguer about their body image and the whole of reality.

Many sufferers can't actually accept that they are ill until they put on a certain amount of weight; this extra weight gives their brain the ability to think more rationally.

So, how do we go about putting weight on anorexics?

For dangerously underweight people if you start to give them lots of food it can make them extremely sick. The risk is especially enhanced if the anorexic has been fed through a feeding tube.

This problem can be treated with injections of minerals and other substances they need for basic survival. This can be done in a hospital but is only recommended in extreme weight loss cases.

In the cases where a feeding tube is not been involved it is recommended to increase the amount of food the anorexic eats slowly, over time. It would increase something like from 100 to 300 grams of food a day (depends on the tolerance of the person).

It can be hard for people who have been starving themselves to just start eating again. That's why anorexics will need home counseling and support at the same time they start to change and all the time they are gaining weight.

It is recommended to gain between 0.5 and 1.0 kg (1 or 2 pounds) a week until the person's body mass index (BMI) returns to 18.5-19.

To gain this amount of weight, they will need to eat between 2,200 and 2,500 calories every day. That's not a lot of food. It's only about what a healthy adult eats every day, on average. But anorexics may start eating much less than this and slowly work up the amount until they feel comfortable with it.

Taking multivitamins and minerals is a great help in maintaining body biochemistry balance throughout all recovery stages.

In the early stages of gaining weight sufferers do need close monitoring of their weight to avoid significant weight fluctuations which can be dangerous for the heart and brain function that is why a home treatment method is essential.

After the body mass index (BMI) stabilizes and remains constant for a few months, monitoring is unnecessary and the person has been taught to live without focusing on counting calories and looking at the labels on the back of packages.

To conclude, gaining weight for the anorexic sufferer is a mandatory step to their recovery. It has to be done in a gentle non-forceful way, with lots of family support and help.

This also means that family education about the problem is as important as the education of a person suffering from anorexia especially in the early stages.