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Transcript of Bulimia
Bulimia and the Brain
Bulimia and the Esophagus
What is Bulimia?
-Bulimia is an eating disorder that causes binge-purge cycles
-Purging is done most often by vomiting, but some use laxatives
-It is rooted in a guilt about food consumption and body dysmorphia
-It affects 1-3% of females
-8-11% of those affected are males
-The disorder is psychologically rooted, as body dysmorphia is a psychological problem
-Common personality traits
-Over controlling and over regulated
-Serotonin: Debated role
-Hypothesis 1: low levels of serotonin cause eating disorders
-Hypothesis 2: eating disorders cause low levels of serotonin because of low levels of tryptophan
-Frequent vomiting brings up HCl and pepsin which can erode the tissue of the esophagus
-Heartburn from weakening of the esophageal sphincter has the same effects
-Over time, this can cause rupture
Bulimia and the Mouth
-Frequent vomiting causes tooth decay and erosion of gum tissue
-Many times the first one to notice if someone is bulimic is their dentist
-Swollen salivary glands from constant exposure to gastric juices
Bulimia and the Stomach
-Gastric juices are secreted, but the food has been vomited out, so the juices begin to corrode the protective mucus layer causing ulcers
-If vomiting is significant enough and often enough, it can cause rupture of the stomach
Bulimia and the Intestines
Ulcers can occur here as well because of the relaxation of the pyloric sphincter to allow for further mixing of the stomach contents
If there is very little chyme in the stomach, then the gastric acid will eat away at the intestinal wall
Bowel problems, such as bloody stools, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps
More common in bulimics who use laxatives
National Eating Disorders Association: 1-800-931-2237
Free referrals, information and advice to any caller
Steps to recovery:
Admit there is a problem
Talk to someone
Seek professional help
Breaking the cycle
Changing thoughts and patterns
Fixing underlying emotional issues
"Only 8 percent of bulimic patients seen at the Eating Disorders Clinic at the University of Minnesota reported having engaged in CHSP ("chewing and spitting") more than three times a week-usually resorting to it only if they were unable to make themselves vomit, or because regurgitated stomach acid was damaging their teeth or esophagus" (136)
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Bulimia and muscle function
-Habitual vomiting and laxative use causes ion imbalances in the body
-All muscles need ions to function because of the way the impulses to contract are carried
-Ion imbalances from bulimia, can cause arrhythmia in the heart, and muscle cramps and fatigue
By Anna Krauss and Anicka Gajar