Individuals suffering from bulimia will be obsessed with weight and body shape. As with sufferers of other eating disorders, they will often perceive themselves as being flawed and have a strong sense of guilt or shame related to their relationship with food.
Most bulimics are not overweight or are only slightly so. It is for this reason that their eating habits are often overlooked, instead of being recognized as symptoms of a serious medical illness. Bulimics engage in bouts of bingeing and purging, eating large amounts of food, followed by attempts to rid themselves of the extra calories by vomiting, abusing laxatives or diuretics, periods of starvation or excessive exercise in order to avoid gaining weight. Some bulimics will even feel a need to purge after eating only a small snack or meal.
Families may become aware that their loved one is constantly dieting or is visiting the bathroom during or immediately after a meal. They may discover hoarded food or stocks of laxatives or diuretics. These are just some of the outward signs of bulimia.
As the disease progresses, the sufferer can experience, amongst other symptoms, dental problems, abnormal bowel function, fatigue and/or sores in the throat and mouth. Female sufferers may experience irregularities in their menstrual cycle or even loss of menstruation (amenhorrhea). Bulimics who do not purge will use methods such as fasting or excessive exercise to prevent weight gain. This is sometimes called exercise bulimia.
Potentially life-threatening, bulimia requires professional treatment from an experienced eating disorder specialist. Precise causes are difficult to determine. There is some evidence pointing to a link with the production of serotonin in the brain, along with the belief that there could be genetic involvement.
Bulimia is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease – the good news is that help is available!
At Sovereign Health of California, we concentrate on creating an environment where a patient can feel safe about expressing their emotions about food and eating. The patient can thus understand that they are not alone in their struggle. We focus on supporting our patients as they seek to develop confidence in their ability to make healthy choices about food.
Bulimia sufferers often have underlying dual diagnosis issues such as depression or anxiety. Here, at Sovereign Health of California, we have a reputation for the finest treatment of dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders in the U.S. Our extensive pre-admission assessments provide our treatment team with an exclusive insight into any co-occurring or dual diagnosis issues, allowing us to incorporate them into an individually tailored treatment program specifically designed to meet the needs of the sufferer.
Once admitted, each patient undergoes a comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessment. The patient is then introduced to the treatment team, which will include, among others, a family therapist, a psychiatrist and a registered dietician. During the first few days, the patient will get to know each member of the treatment team who, in turn will carry out their own, individual evaluations before combining their knowledge, together with the results of the initial assessment, to produce a completely individual treatment plan for the patient.
Patients are encouraged to participate in experiential activities such as shopping and cooking – giving them the chance to practice the skills required to overcome their disorder, whilst surrounded by supportive professionals who understand the challenges involved in recovery.
Patients stay in our comfortable, gender specific residences, situated in the picturesque coastal community of San Clemente, California, where we also have available various holistic therapies such as meditation, art therapy, equine therapy, etc.
Patients presenting with other medical considerations, or complications relating to their disorder can be referred to outside healthcare providers such as dentists, cardiologists, gynecologists, gastroenterologists, etc.
There is no such thing as a miracle cure for bulimia sufferers - nor for any other type of eating disorder. But it can be treated and long term recovery is achievable. At Sovereign Health of California, we offer treatment to both men and women. So, to learn more about treatment and recovery with us, why not visit the 'What We Offer' page of our website. Alternatively, call us now! We have advisors available 24/7 to answer any question you may have with regard to Sovereign Health of California and all its treatment programs. Our success rate speaks for itself!