You may have heard of the eating disorder bulimia. You may even be concerned that you have it yourself. There is a lot of information available these days about this difficult and sometimes life-threatening eating disorder. But I will share with you not only some common personal issues, symptoms and health problems with bulimia, I will also provide you with some encouragement for recovery if you are dealing with this troubling eating disorder.
Those with bulimia tend to eat uncontrollably and then rid themselves of what they have consumed in some way. They find it difficult to allow themselves to keep food down, and they may be unsure of how to express their emotions. While only a professional can diagnose you, if any of these things are true for you, please keep reading. You may have bulimia or the precursors to bulimia.
Although other factors may also be present, here are some of the common signs and symptoms of bulimia.
Obsession with weight and body image
Bingeing followed by purging
Taking laxatives or diuretics
Following stringent diet plans
Restricting food intake between bingeing and purging episodes
Whether you have engaged in behaviors such as these once or several times, you have cause to be concerned. As with any eating disorder, bulimia can bring on serious consequences. Here are some health problems that bulimia can cause.
Gastric rupture or tearing of esophagus
Blood sugar level disturbances
Not only can bulimia cause serious health problems such as those listed, but bulimia can also cause organ failure and can even be fatal. If you have any concerns, please reach out for help from your eating disorder. Doing so could save your life.
If you are engaging in bulimic behaviors, please don't hesitate to reach out for the help you need. God wants better for you than for you to remain bound to this difficult eating disorder. Please also remember that the food-related behaviors are a result of deeper issues. With God at your side and with the help you need, you can work through whatever it is that draws you to bulimic behaviors. Here are some things to consider as you endeavor to recover from your eating disorder.
When you are tempted to engage in bulimic behaviors, God is ready to help you resist. "But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (I Cor. 10:13).
When you are fearful of food or when you doubt you will break free of bulimia, remember the power that you have through Christ. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" (II Tim. 1:7).
You can pray anytime anywhere. God is always ready to hear your prayers. "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of him" (I John 5:14-15).
Keep the Lord first as you work to break free of bulimia. You may be amazed at all that He has in store for you. To invite Him to lead your recovery from bulimia, perhaps you would like to say this prayer or one like it in your own words.
Will you forgive me for the way I've treated the body You've given me? I know that bulimia is too complicated to fight alone, and I ask that you help me to be open to getting the support and accountability I need. Please help me to learn new coping skills, to resist the temptation to engage in bulimic behaviors, and to face and resolve underlying issues. Thank You for Your love and patience. With You at my side, I know that one day I will be free.
In Jesus' name,
Laurie Glass has a Master of Ministry degree in Christian Counseling and is the author of Journey to Freedom from Eating Disorders. She is a recovered anorexic who offers online Christian counseling services to adult women with eating disorders. See her website at http://freedomfromed.com/.