We all have the tendency to overeat at some points — when we are lonely, bored, and even overly stressed. However, when it comes to bulimia, overeating is more of a compulsory act for which you punish yourself by purging, fasting or exercising excessively. This cycle can wreak havoc on your body, which is why professional treatment is so important. In addition to counseling and support, home remedies for bulimia, like probiotics and aloe vera can be utilized.
What Is Bulimia Nervosa?
The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide explains bulimia nervosa as a condition that is characterized by a cycle of binge eating followed by one of a number of different “compensatory” actions that are used to avoid gaining weight. Bulimia is typically considered in two categories, designated by the strategy used to rid your body of excess calories.
The most common or familiar type is the purging type in which an individual induces vomiting or uses laxatives or diuretics to eliminate excess food in the body. The nonpurging type is less prevalent but is the form used when an individual does not purge but rather exercises excessively or stops eating for a day or longer to eradicate excess calories.
How Do I Know If I Am Bulimic?
While we all have the tendency to overeat and try to compensate calorie-wise, we are not all affected by eating disorders. If you consider a few key indicators, included in resources from the HelpGuide.org, you can typically determine if you are at risk for an eating disorder or not. If you are obsessed with your body and weight, feel as if food and/or dieting dominate your life, and are afraid to start eating for fear you won’t be able to stop, you may be experiencing some level of food issues. Likewise, if you eat until you feel sick, feel guilty or ashamed after eating, or vomit/take laxatives to control your weight, you should seek help for your eating habits.
Are There Any Natural Treatments for Bulimia?
According to MedlinePlus, the most common form of treatment for bulimia is a stepped approach that combines support groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and some form of medicinal support. In addition to these treatments; however, there are a number of home treatment options that are beneficial and even nutritional supplements, like probiotics and aloe vera, which support recovery.
WebMD supports the need for home treatment as well as professional care for treating bulimia with one of the most important treatments being emotional self-care. You likely developed an eating disorder because you are self-critical, so take time to take care of your emotional and physical self as part of your treatment. Focus on positive attributes of yourself, do things that make you feel good, and spend time with people who care about you to boost your emotional well-being.
Mayo Clinic also emphasizes the importance of appropriate nutrition for recovery. Working with a nutritionist to develop and stick to a nutrition plan is one of the most important steps you can take toward wellness. Make sure you discuss appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements with your nutritionist as well.
If you have spent any amount of time with an eating disorder, you have likely depleted your body of key nutrients, including bacteria. A probiotic supplement can help increase your nutrient absorption and help your digestive system heal.
Aloe vera is another healing remedy. The juice of the aloe plant helps soothe your stomach and reduces bloating associated with your condition. Drink 1 tablespoon of juice each day for the biggest health benefit.
Continue reading below for feedback from Earth Clinic readers.