Bulimia/Eating Disorders/bulimia

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Question
Hi! I had a problem with bulimia for a 7 years. First, it started with a family gatherings where was huge amount of food served and after that meals I actually felt very sick cause I was not used to eating food rich in fat. So I needed to vomit after those family gatherings. Then I realized that wasn't such a bad idea to keep myself thin especially after Christmas and Easter lunches. And then it became some kind of habit for me (two to three times a week) to eat huge amount of unhealthy food such as chips, popcorn, ice cream etc..and to vomit after that. When I ate healthy food I didn't vomit. And what happened to me few months ago made me stop such behavior. I realized I have a huge disc hernia - disc extrusion in my lower back and that made impossible for me to vomit again. I even had to go to surgery to take care of my back, and now I am scared of vomiting again, even if I feel sick. I am very angry because I was so stupid! I immediately stopped eating that unhealthy kind of food and started to look after myself. I never imagined that bulimia can be so dangerous! So, I wanted to  tell you my story to warn others that they can have serious consequences if they do not get their condition with bulimia treated and I wanted to ask you, have you ever heard such a story like mine, is it really possible to hurt your back while vomiting?    I never told anybody my story. I am very ashamed and I don't want anybody of my friends and relatives to know that..

Answer
Hi Tatyana,

You poor thing. I am so sorry for everything you've been through. Don't fee ashamed. It takes amazing courage to tell your story to someone. But know that you are doing a lot of good by sharing your struggles.

Although I have never personally met anyone with your specific problem, back, neck, and joint pain are not all that uncommon in bulimics. When you vomit up what you've eaten, you won't be able to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals contained in the food. This can result in nutritional imbalances, which can make you prone to skeletal problems (because of low calcium and electrolyte levels).

Hope that helps shed some light on your question. Good luck!

Bulimia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard, PhD

Expertise

I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.

Experience

I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Organizations
Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Publications
Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

Education/Credentials
PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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