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Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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My friend says Im bulimic, but I dont think I am. Over the past five years, I&

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My friend says I'm bulimic, but I don't think I am. Over the past five years, I've struggled on and off with controlling my weight. For almost a year, I was eating food and keeping it. Starting four months ago, that changed. It's only been four months, and I don't think that's long enough to say that I am. Over the course of those months, I started purging only a couple days a week...but for the past two weeks, it's been every day. I don't think it's a problem though because I think I'm fine. My friend though is only focusing on how much weight I've lost overall since February which is 26 pounds. I also don't normally binge which bulimia is binging and purging. I don't keep most everything that I eat, and I find that the only thing I can keep without feeling a need to get rid of it are liquids. I was just hoping that I could get a professional opinion. He says I'm in denial, and maybe I am, but it's not something that I feel I can stop anymore.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

Hello there you may not be bulimic but in your way to develop this disorder.

Bulimia symptoms may include:

  • Feeling that you can't control your eating behavior
  • Eating until the point of discomfort or pain
  • Eating much more food in a binge episode than in a normal meal or snack
  • Forcing yourself to vomit after eating
  • Exercising excessively
  • Misuse of laxatives, diuretics or enemas
  • Being preoccupied with your body shape and weight
  • Having a distorted, excessively negative body image
  • Going to the bathroom after eating or during meals
  • Abnormal bowel functioning
  • Damaged teeth and gums
  • Swollen salivary glands in the cheeks
  • Sores in the throat and mouth
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sores, scars or calluses on the knuckles or hands
  • Menstrual irregularities or loss of menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

When you have bulimia, you may regularly vomit or exercise excessively after binge eating. Sometimes, however, people with bulimia feel a need to purge after eating only a small snack or a normal-size meal so not everyone binges. Some people purge after they eat a food they did not feel that they should eat.

A binge is considered eating a larger amount of food than most people would eat under similar situations. For instance, when you have bulimia, you may eat an entire cake, rather than just a slice or two. And you may continue eating until you're painfully full.

Binges often occur in private. Once the binge episode ends, the purging begins. This may mean heading to the bathroom to vomit, hitting the treadmill for hours of exercise, or not eating for long periods of time (fasting). Because most people with bulimia are of normal weight or even slightly overweight, it may not be readily apparent to others that something is wrong.

Bulimia may be categorized in two ways:

  • Purging bulimia. You regularly engage in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics or enemas to compensate for binges.
  • Nonpurging bulimia. You use other methods to rid yourself of calories and prevent weight gain, such as fasting or overexercising.

However, these behaviors often overlap, and the attempt to rid yourself of extra calories is usually referred to as purging, no matter what the method.

When to see a doctor
If you have any bulimia symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible. Bulimia usually doesn't get better on its own. It may even get worse if left untreated and take over your life.

If you have a primary care doctor, talk to him or her about your bulimia symptoms and feelings. Or seek help directly from a mental health provider. If you're reluctant to seek treatment, try to work up the courage to confide in someone about what you're going through, whether it's a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a teacher, a faith leader, or someone else you trust. They can help you take the first steps to successful bulimia treatment.

Also I wonder if you worry about food and your body image very often and if you feel better after you purge

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I do worry about food and my body image. I've started dieting as well, and I've counted that on average, I normally only take in less than 500 calories a day and I excercise almost every day. However, whenever I deviate from that diet (it's a liquid diet), I get rid of what I've eaten by throwing up.

I have mixed feelings after I purge. I feel better that I feel like I'm losing weight. I am scared to gain weight. But I also feel guilty because I know that maybe what I'm doing could be detrimental to my health, especially since the past couple of weeks I've been getting headaches or I feel light headed and there have been time where it felt like my heart was....acting funny? It makes it difficult to breathe, but it always goes away after ten minutes or so.

Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 5 years ago.
Don't worry about whether you deserve a label or not. Take a look at your behavior and your struggle with weight and self image. These are clearly problem areas. I thing the whole picture is leading down a dangerous path for you and the sooner you get professional help, the better your prognosis. Your reactions and attitudes are that of a bulimic. The pressure put in diaphram and heart by purging can cause the light headedness and heart "acting funny" It may not be serious now, but could become dangerous. I understand therapy being disappointing. The self mutilation and bilimia are part of same problems. Counseling is likely only thing that will help and will take a long time.
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience: Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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