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Is My Niece Bulimic? Need Help

My niece is 24 yrs old, I am having a problem trying to figure out if she has bulimia. Everything I have been reading states that a person with this binges then purges. She doesn't binge. What happens is she chooses which foods she will bring back up again. She will eat normally with us (not eat more than normal). At times she won't go in the bathroom after eating and then at other times she will. This has been going on for over 2 yrs. So I don't know if this is considered bulimia since she doesn't binge? She does have low self-esteem and is constantly worried about her weight, she drinks allot of gin and tonics. So to be bulimic does one always have to be a binge eater I guess is my question...All other signs indicate that she is in fact bulimic. Most times after eating she will immediatly go to the bathroom but she hasn't eaten allot. Our family is desperate to help her and she has admitted that she does this but doesn't think there are any health risks, but she has offered to read about the risks if one of us can find her the info. So any help would be very much appreciated. Thanx
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replied June 22nd, 2006
Hey there. It is really not the title that matters but the fact that your niece does in fact have an unhealthy perspective concerning weight, food and her own self worth. When someone does not neccesarily fit all the criteria for one specific eating disorder, they are classified under ednos (eating disorder not otherwise specified). Here is a good website for info http://www.Something-fishy.Org/whatarethey /ednos.Php
even if she does not binge and purge now, she may begin to exhibit those behaviors as she relies more on purging as a coping mechanism. You say this has been going on for 2 years? Every day that goes by without her knowing that you are concerned and that she may be inflicting permanant damage on her body, the more addicted she will become and the harder it will be for her to recover. Get educated on the subject and then maybe set up a time that you and her can talk about how you both feel openly and honestly...Even though she may not let you know at first, she will be relieved to know that someone cares so much about her and her well being :)
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replied June 22nd, 2006
Thank You
Thank you for that website. I did read through it. The reason why I need to pinpoint this is because she will come back on me and say I am not bulimic because I don't binge eat. This is her train of thought right now. How do I get around that? How do I make her realize she does in fact have a very serious problem. She did tell me that she would read any information about the risks of throwing her food back up, but I could show her the risks of being bulimic and she will say she doesn't have that. What do I need to do to open her eyes so to speak. Thank you again for the website and responding to my call for help for someone I love.
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replied June 22nd, 2006
This is also a good info site http://www.Nationaleatingdisorders.Org/p.A sp?Webpage_id=291
there are health risks on there and even though they are labeled by disorder, if you engage in any of the disordered behaviors, you are at a risk for serious mental and physical complications. The biggest health concern for bulimics though is electrolyte imbalance which can lead to heart attack. As well as esophogus rupture from the actual act of purging which can lead to internal bleeding and death. But there are also other ones that are almost just as disconcerting like tooth decay, osteoperosis, extreme constipation and bloating etc. Even though she may try to fool you into thinking she isn't "that bad" there is a part of her that knows she needs help and you have to tap into that little voice because her eating disorder is trying its damndest to supress it. Good luck hun :oops:
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