The issue of bulimia causing hair loss has not been explored much. Bulimia which is also known as bulimia nervosa, is an eating disorder in which people eat and then “purge” their food. A “binge” is caused when people eat much more food than they need or are accustomed to eat. A purge happens when people use unorthodox methods to get rid of the food or to burn off the excess calories. The methods of purging include vomiting, use of laxatives, fasting, exercising compulsively, and using diuretics and enemas.
Unlike the case with anorexia, where people look thin and sickly, people with bulimia usually look normal and maintain an average body weight. So it may be hard to tell pick out someone who is suffering from bulimia. Also, the binging and purging are usually done in private thus making it extremely rare to tell someone who is suffering from bulimia. Just like anorexics, bulimics also suffer from a low sense of self esteem. They also suffer from serious psychological issues and food is one way in which they seek their comfort.
Bulimia is actually a serious health problem and requires an immediate medical attention. The symptoms of bulimia include:
· Binge eating, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, hair loss laxative abuse.
· An obsession with calories and nutrition. A person who suffers from bulimia is likely to examine food labels every time, measure and weigh portions, and read diet books.
· Preoccupation with food: The person may eat very little or lie about eating even after cooking for others.
· Secretive food rituals: The person often refuses to eat when in public places. They prefer a private place where they can exercise their secretive eating habits such as binging and purging.
· Use of diet pills and laxatives. These people abuse water pills, take herbal appetite suppressants, prescription stimulants, and other drugs for weight loss.
· Throwing up after eating. The person frequently disappears after meals or may go to the bathroom. They may indeed run the water to dampen the sound of vomiting.
· Compulsive exercising. The person follows a punishing exercise regimen which is aimed at burning calories. The person will exercise even through forbidding conditions such as injuries, illness, and bad weather. The person works extremely hard especially after bingeing or eating something “bad.”
Is Bulimia causing hair loss? Now, you must be asking yourself so. Bulimia affects hair loss in that the person reduces the essential nutrients required for the growth of hair. Proteins aid in the building of cells as does iron. Vitamins and mineral salts are also important in the hair growth process.
Bulimia also leads to hair loss in that the person suffers from psychological stress. Stress reduces the amount of blood that goes to the hair follicles by constricting the blood vessels. As such the amount of mineral salts that are available to the hair follicles is reduced thereby reducing the amount of nutrients for hair growth.
Treatment of bulimia involves:
· Treating the psychological issues that cause the eating disorder.
· Reducing or eliminating behaviors or thoughts that lead to disordered eating and preventing their recurrence.
Once bulimia is eliminated, hair can begin growing back normally as the nutrients essential to the growth of hair will become available and hence halt any further hair loss. If the condition persists however, help can be sought from a doctor. At the heart of bulimia is a serious psychological flaw that must be dealt with in order for a person to begin regrowing their hair.