On any given day, we can walk in a crowd of people not knowing a few of them could be suffering from a silent, but dangerous disease.
“People with bulimia tend to be any weight,” said Releve Counseling therapist, Jessica Olmo.
The numbers don’t get much better in high schools, which is when symptoms for bulimia, oftentimes in teenaged girls, tends to start. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it can begin as early as 12 years-old. It usually goes untreated and extends well into adulthood. It can manifest in binge eating episodes, followed by purging.
“Most commonly we hear about inducing vomiting. But, it also can be using laxatives, using diuretics, [or] excessive exercise.”
Bulimia can be one of the first dominos to fall and set off a chain reaction of other health issues.
“People with bulimia can suffer from tooth decay. There can be acid reflux and issues in their intestines.”
Calluses can also form on the back of one’s hands or their knuckles because of induced vomiting.
It’s unknown what causes bulimia. However, parents and caregivers play a big role in preventing it.
To do that, have consistent family mealtimes, stay away from participating in the latest dieting fad, and teach kids to have a healthy and realistic expectation of their body image.