Bulimia is an eating disorder. However it is regarded as a psychological disorder. Dr Sabine Nissan from Karolinska Institutet recently presented a doctoral thesis on this topic, in Sweden.
The researchers found out that a third of all women patients who suffered from bulimia nervosa also suffer from other metabolic disorders. The study points of that this disorder is triggered of at times by a hormonal imbalance. The patients may often be overeating due to hormonal imbalance, and not necessarily due to a mental disorders, explained Dr Sabine Naessén. The research entails that commonly used oral contraceptives therefore may be useful for its treatment.
Bulimia nervosa is seen to affect women ten times more than men. Most bulimic women are of normal body weight, but lesser bone mineral density .They have excessive facial hair, and more chances of suffering from polycystic ovarian disease. It is described as a compulsive eating disorder .It is conventionally regarded to be caused due to psychological causes. It is usually treated by implementing cognitive behavioral therapy. Menstrual disturbances are often associated with this disorder. These women have low levels of the female hormone oestradiol.The testosterone levels in bulimic women were notably higher than healthy individuals. The male hormone testosterone plays a significant role in regulation of appetite. Increased levels of androgens or male hormones may therefore trigger off a greater appetite.
High levels of testosterone may be regulated by administration of oestrogen containing oral contraceptive pills, comments the researcher. The study proved that , the craving for sugar and fried foods can be controlled following this treatment.More than 50% of the volunteers who suffer from bulimia recovered within three months.
The results of the study offer a very firm alternative to conventional treatment offered for this disorder, especially for those with prominent signs of excessive male hormonal effect.