Bulimia nervosa is a dangerous eating disorder that commonly affects adolescents. Symptoms of bulimia nervosa can range widely and include everything from weight obsession to episodes of binge-and-purging, to mouth and throat infections.
When not addressed professionally at a bulimia nervosa treatment center, bulimia nervosa can become life-threatening and drastically alter the course of your teenager’s life.
There are many ways bulimia nervosa can affect a teenager, with some of the most common ways being:
1. Social Withdrawal And Isolation
When a teen battles with bulimia nervosa, they have issues with the way that they view food and eating. They will often have rituals surrounding how they eat, such as excessive chewing or cutting food into small pieces.
They also may have episodes where they eat quickly and binge, consuming food at a rapid pace. These behaviors may often make it difficult for them to eat around other people because they are exceedingly conscious about how they consume food.
Since so much social interaction revolves around the consumption of food, they may limit going out with friends or family due to fear of judgment.
Another social issue that a teen with bulimia nervosa will face is being uncomfortable with the way they look. The will often feel that they look bad in clothes or that they are heavier than their friends.
This can cause them to avoid activities such as shopping or going places that may require them to dress up. Their obsession over the shape and size of their body can get them frustrated with anything they wear, making it difficult for them to get ready to go out and cause them to either be significantly late or make an excuse for not going.
2. Major Health Concerns
During the teen years, the body is making significant changes and growth both in the body as well as in mind.
To help them grow properly and develop, they will need to maintain the proper nutrition as well maintain a healthy weight be able to maintain focus on such tasks as school work.
With bulimia nervosa eating disorder, the body is deprived of these necessary calories and nutrients which can lead to a number of major health concerns including:
- Gastrointestinal Problems – Episodes of binging and purging can severely weaken the muscles along your digestive tract causing them not to work properly. This can lead to such complications as severe constipation which may result in blockages that can become life-threatening.
- Cardiac Issues – The heart relies on a balance of electrolytes to operate properly, which is gained from good nutrition. When a teen has a prolonged electrolyte imbalance, they can suffer from cardiac arrhythmia and even heart failure.
- Damage To Teeth And Esophagus – Purging through vomiting can bring stomach acid up and out of the throat causing damage to the esophagus and enamel on the teeth. Lack of nutrition can also cause teeth not to get the nutrients they need. The esophagus could become severely inflamed and even rupture due to too much acid.
- Concentration Problems – While your brain may be a small organ it utilizes almost a third of your calorie intake to maintain its everyday functions. When it becomes depleted of these much-needed calories, they may experience issues focusing, memory difficulties, or problems completing simple mental tasks.
3. Problems In School
Without treating the underlying cause of a bulimia nervosa eating disorder at a bulimia treatment center, a teen may begin having difficulties in school.
School can be a hard place for a developing teen, and the stress of trying to fit in with the ideal image can create a lot of anxiety for a teen even if they don’t have an eating disorder.
Unfortunately for teens that do, it can compound the problem causing them to be reclusive for fear of judgment. Additionally, they may find themselves stressed at lunchtime, which involves social eating.
They may also have their school work suffer from lack of concentration and focus due to a lack of caloric intake.
If you have a teen that is in need of treatment for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, don’t wait until the problem becomes more difficult – contact Clementine’s bulimia nervosa treatment center to help treat the underlying issues and get them on the road to recovery.