Eating disorders are a serious mental illness affecting 1.1 million people in the UK.
One of the main eating disorders is Bulimia Nervosa, popularly known as Bulimia. Bulimia was recognised by doctors as an eating disorder in 1979.
As food and eating play a very important part in our lives we experiment with different eating habits or we try to change our diet.
However, some eating patterns can be damaging.
People with bulimia crave food and binge-eat, and afterwards they make themselves sick or misuse laxatives to get the food out of their bodies.
They feel guilty about the binge eating but because they are very afraid of becoming fat they continue the destructive cycle of compulsive eating and vomiting, which they cannot control.
Emotional difficulties in life, demanding jobs, low self-esteem, family relationships, death of someone special, sexual or emotional abuse can lead to Bulimia.
Bulimia is more common in girls, effecting women between the ages of 16 and 40 and is most likely to begin at about 18-19 years of age according to National Health Service UK.
Recent studies suggest that around eight in every 100 women will have bulimia at some point in their lives.
Bulimia can cause not only physical problems such as: lethargy, tiredness, irregular periods or frequent weight changes but can also develop psychological problems like: obsession with food, mood swings, depression, shame, guilt or feeling lonely.
It can take over the life of the ill person making her/him feel trapped and desperate and can lead to self-destruction. In extreme cases the illness can be fatal due to heart failure.
'American Idol' judge and Pop singer Paula Abdul is open about her life with bulimia. During an interview on the ABC-TV news show "Prime Time Live," she revealed that she has suffered from the severe eating disorder for about 17 years.
After years of struggling with bulimia Paula Abdul admitted: "It became a living hell for me and I wanted to get help. I wanted to be free from weighing myself on the scales."
She sought the help of professionals and went through an eating disorder treatment program. For overcoming her long-time battle with bulimia The National Eating Disorders Association presented Abdul with its highest honour, the Profiles in Living Award.
The good news is that nutritional counseling along with Yoga can provide an effective solution in treating bulimia.
What is needed in case of Bulimia is education about basic nutrition and sensible eating to promote a healthy relationship with food and daily yoga practice to reduce the emotional need for food, as hunger is also an emotional need and cannot be satisfied by food alone.
The nutritional counselling and yoga can help the patient to release the emotional stress and break the binge-and-purge cycle and to stabilize chaotic eating behaviour.
Issued in public interest by Subodh Gupta a holistic health consultant and also the author of the book "7 food habits for weight loss forever".
Subodh Gupta is a celebrity yoga trainer based in London and conducts Yoga, Nutrition, Stress Management and Weight loss sessions.