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.

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