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.

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.