May 9, 2006
Exercise Bulimia: it's a relatively new eating disorder that tends to get overlooked, but this serious illness is poised to become more threatening than both anorexia and bulimia.
For years exercise has been considered good, but now people are taking it to the extreme and becoming addicted. This illness is known as exercise bulimia.
"People tend to emotionally and physiologically depend on exercise as a form of compensating for intake and trying to control their weight," said Kate Bruno, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer.
Peach Friedman is featured in People Magazine as a recovering exercise bulimic. In her case, she refused to eat unless she could burn off the calories. But detecting the warning signs are not always easy.
"Usually we can spot people, either exercising all too frequently or for too long or being very compulsive about it in terms of their emotional state."
Usually people with eating disorders look emaciated but that's not the case with exercise bulimia.
"When you do exercise compulsively, your body compensates by slowing down metabolically so your weight may not necessarily be super low."
This disease affects many people mostly college aged women. It can be beat, but recovery takes time. In Peach's case, treatment took three years.
"Just try to take note of somebody who has that kind of compulsion by reaching out and getting help", explained Bruno who helped Peach with her treatment.
Today, Peach is a healthy 26-year-old living in California as a personal trainer. Her experience has taught her to respect her body and now she wants to help others. Kate hopes this article and story bring awareness to the disease.
If you, or someone you know, wants to seek treatment go to www.ontracknutrition.com or call 434-923-4520.