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Conditions

Bulimia

Eroded teeth

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Bulimia can affect both men and women but statistically women are more likely to develop Bulimia than men. The condition results in sufferers binging on food, and then purging it from their bodies by being sick or using laxatives. This is usually carried out in private, as the sufferers will frequently feel guilty about their binge eating. Symptoms of the condition can include obsessive behaviour, over eating, scarred knuckles, depression and damage to the tooth enamel (from stomach acid). The causes of bulimia are difficult to pin down, and vary from sufferer to sufferer. Low self-esteem is one contributory factor, as is depression, stress mental health disorders. There is also some evidence of a genetic link. Treatment is long and complicated, normally beginning with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but also potentially anti-depressants. Going to your GP early allows for the full range of treatments to be explored.

If you are worried that your child may be suffering from an eating disorder, then read our special guide for parents on the Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

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Comments and Questions

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I need help. I have put on weight and tried everything to shift it changed my diet to strictly vegetarian as well as cutting all junk food. I've also been exercising every day but nothing has changed. I used to be a bulimic when I was little like 11 years old however I have recovered and don't want to return to it though I fear I might if it doesn't go





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Am I bulimic??? Hello, it all started when I was over weight. And I mean Bmi reached up to 38 I was 7 stone heavier and even back then I was depressed and down about myself so I can remember I used to go to the shop by loads of food eat it and then vomit. This happened on a few occasions. I didn't know a lot about food calories ect. But I end up going on a diet 8 months it took my to be at a normal weight through out this diet programme you I hardly made myself vomit. Maybe because I was on such a stricken diet I couldn't do it! I was on shakes and 1 protein meal aday. Well it's been nearly 2 years since losing the weight my Bmi is healthy no where underweight if anything I maybe one point below to overweight (25)... You would think I would feel so much better in my self. Well I dont. For the last 2 years my life is a contant of diets my weight yoyos... I have never felt so depressed over eating in my life. I binge so much than I ever have done before I lost the weight. And I woul feel so guilty and the vomit. Sometimes I plan this. I plan to eat then vomit. Sometimes I don't plan it , I would have a reasonable meal and something clicks in my brain and I try really i do try to fight it. But my brain don't want to it's like I have some kind of demon in there telling me to throw up its bad!!! So I go and vomit. It's gettingn worse over the last 6 months it's worse than ever. If I can get away with it I will vomit at work , even at a friends house. Sometimes people ask what I'm doing or if I'm okay , I just state I have had something funny to eat. Or something like that. But if I know I definitely cannot get away with it for example with my partner then I would watch what I eat well not all the time if we would get something naughty I wouldn't eat more or less all day until we have a meal. But even then my Brain feels like it's exploding. Like telling me to throw up !!!, it's like a fear of me putting all my weight back on again?? ... I surely can't be bulimia ? As I am not underweight and I do not do it at every single meal. Or some times (if I am eating healthy) I don't vomit at all for days it could even be,.. If you could get back to me that would be very much grateful





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Hi Jessica, yes it does sound like you are bulimic. People with bulimic are usually very conscious about their weight and have a fear of putting weight on. So bad that they eat a lot to stop their hunger but then feel guilty afterwards so they make themselves sick or take laxatives to make themselves feel better. I have done this for a while. I'm 21 and have been doing it since year 8 in high school, so I've been doing it since I was 13 which was 8-9 years ago. Unfortunately it's not a nice thing to go through and I do empathise your situation. My cause for bulimia was through to being badly bullied at school because I was different. I can't seem to stop it. 3 years ago I was only 7stone and developed severe depression to the point where I had to go on the sick from work. Doctors gave me anti depressants and one of them I had, had a side effect of weight gain. I went up to 9 and a half stone in a month and I'm still that weight now. I'm very unhappy with my body and it's a daily thing for me. I find that I get very full quickly from food which is uncomfortable for me so I purge. My doctor is aware of this and has suggested counselling and CBT which is Cognitve Behaviour therapy which is a one to one with a therapist and they show you a way to turn your negativity into a positive thing, so you no longer feel that way about yourself. Since I have been going I haven't purged daily, only a few times a week but it has helped a lot. I think you should perhaps see your doctor and mention it to them and see what they can offer. I do know what your going through!

I just wanted to no how could I get nice straight white teeth and a nice body I can not look at my self and sometime I get really bad breath and my stomach is very big after having my baby and I struggle to breath sometime please help me





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Am Lyn nd would love to have my smile back iv stop going out for a year. Now cos off my teeth all been took out nd have dentures nd cart cope with them am sick every time I put them in can u help me plz x





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i am 26, iv been fighting bulimia for the last 10 years first time I remember I was 8, its second nature to me, It takes over my life at times its addictive , it stops me from doing things and it makes me want to cry its really emotional . my teeth are shrinking rapidly , I don't want to loose my teeth is there anyway I can get help to fix them ? I know i am going to loose them its horrible to face but I cant afford to pay for new ones ?





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Am 40 year old nd sick every day when I put my teeth in wot help can I get from my gp x

Im in the same battle. Im 28 and ive been bullemic/anorexic sinse i was 13. Its totally destroyed my life. My teeth are rapidly disappearing,ive already lost 8. I would love to know of a dentist who helps with bullemia cases.... i would LOVE to smile with my teeth. It effecrs my co fidence terribly. Good luck to u xxx

I have just taken an eating disorder test online and although it says it's not a diagnosis my scores were high and suggest I might have an eating disorder and I'm really scared. I took the test because I think myself that I may have an eating disorder. I don't purge or make myself vomit after binging because I physically can't but I have an enormous desire to. I binge approximately once a month, so I'm coming to understand that something must trigger it. I'm only 15 and I'm so self conscious of my body image and I immediately notice if I have gained weight - my weight permanently fluctuates. I don't want to talk to my family about it until I have some sort of idea of why I do it or what I'm doing to myself.





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i have bulimia and i cant control it, its got into my head and i need help, ive had it for months and i just want to get out.





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I have been making myself sick for almost 6 years it started when I left High school and I am struggling now to control it is there anyway I can stop? I dont want to be like this but I dont want to be fat either and I cabt stop being sick... I have went to my doctors all the time seeking help but they just seem to ignore what im saying...any advice?





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I have bulimia and have noticed some blood in my stools i am currently 13 and have been suffering with EDNOS for a year and the bulimia has been stronge for about 5 monthes I am quite worried i have had these symptoms now for about 6-7monthesis this deadly





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Hey, so it sounds like you are going through a tough time... Bulimia is a very difficult disease and at times VERY scary. As a bulimic I know that blood in your self induced vomiting is very frequent and some times you body has just had enough... We consider this your body's way of telling you it's had enough... You need to speak to a specialist very soon! Hope this helps!

Hi I just wanted some advice , I have been suffering from some mental health issues and I have developed an eating disorder bulimia due to traumatic things that happened when I was younger the bulimia was diagnosed when I first started college since then it has got worse my problem is being a large man I am 6ft 7 and also I am overweight and when I try and lose weight I get obsessive about it and I would restrict food and make myself sick and I would also binge. the problem that I have now is because of my weight I have developed FSGS and have been told I need to lose the weight for my problems to get better however I feel trapped as everyday is a battle . my family doesn't understand they just think its a case of I am lazy and should head to the gym rather then dealing with the route cause . could you please help me with some advice - thanks





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Bulimia nervosa (usually referred to just as bulimia) is an eating disorder. The condition was first recognised as an eating disorder in 1979. Read More »

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