Understanding Bulimia Nervosa
What Is Bulimia?
Who Does It Affect?
Bulimia mainly strikes teenage and young adult women, but can affect anyone. No one knows just what causes it. A brain chemical known as serotonin may be involved. Your genes may also play a role. Peer pressure and the value our culture places on being thin may affect you as well.
Treatment Can Help
If you have bulimia, you feel out of control. You also feel guilty and ashamed. As a result, you may try to hide your eating problem from others. In most cases, bulimia won’t go away on its own. Telling someone is the first step. The second is getting treatment. There are many people who can help. These include doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals.
The Effects of Bulimia
Over time, bulimia can harm your health. In some cases, it may damage your heart. It can also lead to the following problems:
- Inflammation of your pancreas (a gland that makes hormones and enzymes that help digest food)
- Tooth decay (from stomach acid)
- Inflammation of your throat
- An imbalance of water and minerals in your body, leading to serious problems