Exercise Bulimia - Symptoms and Treatment
What Is Exercise Bulimia?
Practice moderation in every aspect of life. Who would’ve thought there was something such as over dosing on exercising or working out? Well here’s some news, too much exercise is actually a disorder! This disorder termed ‘exercise bulimia’ is characterized by compulsive exercising to purge or compensate for merely regular eating.
Exercising is always associated with good health. However, people suffering from exercise bulimia are pushing this statement to an extreme limit. Exercising obsessively, so much so that you begin to skip social invitations, work, classes and appointments rather frequently for the sake of exercising, is not only mentally straining, but physically too much to handle as well. In case of missing out on a day of exercising, individuals affected by this disorder may suffer severe depression and work twice as hard the next day to make up for the lost exercise!
Differentiating between being a work out fanatic and a sufferer at the hands of exercise bulimia can be rather tricky. However, if you pay close attention, you will realize your body is screaming out and generating signs saying you have taken exercising to the max!
Exercise Bulimia Symptoms
Just as those with eating disorders start revolving their lives around food, those with the disorder of exercise bulimia start scheduling their lives tightly around exercise. The most prominent and visible symptoms of exercise bulimia are as follows:
- excessive and compulsive exercise
- guilt if you miss a workout
- amenorrhea, or loss of the menstrual cycle in women
- anxiety and stress
- bone loss
- drop in protein levels
- spending several hours per day exercising and working out even when sick or injured
- Often accompanied by a codependent disorder, such as an anxiety disorder, anorexia nervosa or classic bulimia nervosa.
Exercise Bulimia Effects
Exercise bulimia or over excessive working out can have a detrimental impact on an individual’s health. Exercise bulimia may lead to the following:
- reproductive problems
- depression and anxiety
- Injuries such as that of stress fractures, strains and sprains.
Exercise Bulimia Treatment
Exercise bulimia is a psychologically driven disorder. Patients need to consult therapists and doctors who can help these individuals gain a more positive self-image. Most of these individuals turn to obsessively exercising because they believe they need to do so, when their body raises no such demand.
Furthermore, these individuals should also consult with dieticians and fitness experts who can help them schedule out an appropriate workout routine, a healthy diet and help them achieve normal weight. It is also very important that people suffering from exercise bulimia visit a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist may be able to help these individuals reach the root cause for having this obsession. A psychiatrist may also help the patients overcome the anxiety or depression that they are most likely to face when seeking treatment to quit.
All of this intact, the chances of relapsing are still high. In order to prevent relapse, it is extremely important to practice certain self-care strategies and it is advisable to continue seeing heath care providers for some time after overcoming the disorder. Exercise bulimia is not the answer to any image related insecurities. It is just a menace destroying self-confidence. Consulting an expert is the best line of treatment for exercise bulimia.