Some of the most effective remedies for bulimia nervosa include the use of probiotics, aloe vera, nutritional planning, ginseng, oranges, yoga, spinach, salmon, meditation, psychosocial therapy, and emotional self-care.
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What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia nervosa is a very serious eating disorder characterized by people binge eating, followed by purging, which usually takes the form of vomiting. However, many people who suffer from bulimia use laxatives, diuretics, or stimulants to have the same effect, in addition to excessive exercise in an attempt to keep their weight below a certain level. Essentially, the eating disorder affects the nervous system, and the effects of the disorder are compounded frequently by other psychiatric or emotional conditions, including depression, chronic anxiety, low self-esteem, or mood swings. In terms of eating disorders, bulimia nervosa is not as life-threatening as anorexia nervosa, but it can still exacerbate conditions of depression and increase the likelihood of suicide. The rate of bulimia nervosa is shockingly high; nearly 1% of women suffer from some form of bulimia nervosa behavior. Bulimia is also nearly 10x more likely to be found in women than in men; this propensity is often connected to the self-image crisis that accompanies bulimia nervosa, made worse by societal and cultural pressures on the appearance of women.
Considering that bulimia nervosa is a disorder, rather than a traditional disease, there is not a formal “cure”, although there are both pharmacological and psychosocial treatments that have been proven quite effective. That being said, many people have also seen a significant improvement in the severity of the disorder or the likelihood of backsliding when those sorts of treatments are also complemented by natural, homeopathic, behavioral, and dietary strategies. Research has shown that when combined, a range of treatment approaches is much more effective at protecting individuals and helping them live a normal life outside of this eating disorder.
Home Remedies for Bulimia Nervosa
One of the most vicious cycles of bulimia nervosa for those who suffer from the disorder is the self-image crisis that so often accompanies the binge eating and purging. When you treat your gastrointestinal system in this way, depleting it of crucial nutrients, you will often get bloated. This seems counterintuitive, but when this happens, it can often make bulimia nervosa sufferers even more concerned with their weight and size, which starts the entire cycle all over again. Aloe vera is very good at soothing upset stomachs and can quickly reduce bloating, eliminating that dangerous trigger from the equation of your recovery.
Vomiting is one of the most violent acts that we inflict on our own body, hurling bile and stomach acid up through our respiratory system and throat. What this also does is seriously compromise the integrity of our stomach lining and eliminates a great deal of the beneficial bacteria that we need in our gut to maintain a healthy digestive system. Furthermore, vomiting eliminates food before many of the nutrients can be absorbed; when that is combined with losing digestive bacteria, it can mean a very long healing process; probiotics specifically increase and help to cultivate this helpful bacteria to begin increasing nutrient intake efficiency and returning the bulimia sufferer’s health to normal.
Without a record of what you are eating, it can be very hard to take an objective, rational look at the relationship between you caloric intake and dietary needs, the recommended amounts, and your physical wellbeing. If you participate in thorough nutritional planning, however, you are much more likely to look at your weight and your intake objectively, which could help to overcome your impulsive binge eating and purging cycle, returning you to more normal, less anxious dietary habits.
Bulimia nervosa is often considered a combination of an eating disorder with a preexisting mental disorder or distress; solving one without the other is often unsuccessful in treating or “curing” a person of bulimia nervosa. Therefore, ginseng represents one of the most complete and effective remedies for this eating disorder, because it not only stimulates the appetite, but also boosts mood, relieves anxiety, and can soothe trouble, compulsive behavior. Ginseng extracts and supplements are some of the most readily available herbal substances around the world, and is highly effective in treating bulimia nervosa.
In terms of behavioral remedies, many people turn towards yoga to treat the impulsive and destructive patters of bulimia nervosa. Yoga is often associated with relieving mental stress and emotional anguish, helping practitioners focus on calming their mind and controlling their body. Two things that bulimia nervosa sufferers experience is a lack of physical control over their actions and a lack of mental control over their thoughts and self-image. Therefore, yoga, which directly speaks to improving both those aspects, can be highly effective during bulimia nervosa treatment. It is one of the few forms of exercise recommended during a treatment plan.
As an appetite regulator, oranges are known for stimulating the appetite when a few slices are eaten before a meal; if this practice continues throughout the day, it can significantly decrease your desire to binge eat, which is the beginning of the bulimia nervosa cycle. Furthermore, the high levels of vitamin C found in oranges act as antioxidants for the body to ward off any infections or illnesses (the immune system is often compromised with bulimia nervosa). Furthermore, vitamin C is a critical element in the production of collagen, which is used to repair damaged cells and tissues, which helps the healing process during bulimia nervosa treatment.
This leafy green vegetable is extremely beneficial to overall health, but it is particularly high in folic acid. Folic acid has been connected to easing depression, and since a vegetable diet is often the best way to start rebuilding a healthy digestive system, spinach functions in two ways, affecting both the dietary and mental afflictions of the disorder.
As a fish that is particularly high in omega-3s and other unique minerals that are difficult to acquire from other food sources, salmon is often recommended for bulimia patients as they try to get back on track. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for rebalancing the metabolism and organ systems following the almost guaranteed nutrient deficiencies as a result of bulimia nervosa. Omega-3s also help with mental balance and may increase mood, reduce anxiety, and ward off chronic stress in the body that can lead to compulsive behavior.
Looking inwards is always a good strategy for healing, so as with yoga, meditation has become increasingly turned to as an alternative treatment for people suffering from bulimia nervosa. By concentrating on calming the mind and focusing on oneself, many people find that their self-image can improve and their impulsive behaviors, like binge eating, can be more easily controlled. Meditation isn’t for everyone, and it also takes practice, but there’s certainly no harm in trying.
Perhaps the most important natural treatment for bulimia nervosa is to begin caring for oneself again. Low self-esteem and image problems go hand-in-hand. Before developing bulimia nervosa, patients often say that there was a trigger or a period of change; reflecting on the causes of your behavior and confidently reminding yourself that you are a good, beautiful person can actually help in the treatment of mood swings and depression. Emotional self-care is a personal responsibility though, so be consistent and take care of yourself!
A Final Word of Warning: Bulimia nervosa may not be as fatal as anorexia nervosa, but it is still extremely dangerous and destructive. These strategies outlined above should be in conjunction with seeing a medical professional who can give you a more comprehensive treatment plan. The symptoms and side effects of bulimia nervosa are complex, so do not attempt to diagnose and treat yourself; get yourself checked out by a doctor before enlisting the help of these home remedies for bulimia nervosa.