Training With Bulimia

I'm a sports nutrition student trying to find out all I can about training somebody with bulimia...can anybody help?


  • I'm happy to help but unclear what you want,is this athlete currently binging/purging? If so they will be at high risk of sudden death due to electrolyte abnormality!

    Bulimia is a very serious illness which can & does kill people - I've had to resucisitate a fit young woman who had heart failure due to pottasium depletion caused by vomiting & washing out. This really is a serious matter & it is very important this person gets appropriate help.

    If you want more info on the possible risks or how to get help for this person email me with some detailed q's (BTW -my last job was as a clinical nurse specialist in eating disorders) & I'll try to help.
  • Thanks, all info would be greatly received. The information is for an assignment i am currently doing as part of my Nutrition course. I do want to go into nutrition when I qualify, and realise that bulimia and other eating disorders really need to be dealt with my a dietician and other suitably qualified people, but i feel it is important to understand such illnesses.
  • I can help. Ihave a Eating Disorder but its no Bullimia or Anorexia. Its more of the both but without the vomiting or Laxatives, although ive thought about vomiting sometimes. I tend to eat irregualer, sometimes not at all. On good days i eat well (rarley) on normal days about 800 - 1200 calories and bad days a few peices of toast. I drink alot of tea and cofee and also run. I was really fit until i decided to stop runing and turned to drinking and smoking weed, but im just getting back on track now. I gotta start eating properly, it does affect the way i train. I cant eat fatty foods, they scare me, i only eat healthy, or relitavly healthy.
  • It's a trick question. As Raskolnikov says, bulimia can lead to dangerous metabolic abnormalities, and if I were responsible for the health of an athlete with bulimia I would advise them to stop training until they were no longer vomiting and/or using laxatives and were under the supervision of a specialist eating disorders team.

    Another potential difficulty is that bulimia is often associated with other impulsive behaviours or addictions, and it isn't always easy for affected people to develop and maintain a steady training pattern.

    You've been handed a difficult one there, Dot!
  • Hiya Dot, not sure if I'll be any use to you, Ive suffered Anorexia for 5yrs but had Bulimic episodes when first became ill (starving/overexercising all day, then stuffing in the evening, exercising madly to try to burn it off, start process again next day.) I was "saving my calories" for the evening, the family meal, when I felt my most relaxed and Dad made delicious stir-fries, which I felt I couldn't eat if I'd eaten anything beforehand coz they were calorie-loaded (so I thought.) Plus I'd binge on sweets/choc in the evening (sweet-tooth, my downfall, is y I only eat choc once a week now coz I don't trust myself to eat more, might start bingeing again.) Now, I'm on a weight-gain diet (coz 165cm/41.5kgs, BMI 15.2) of 3,000cals - s*hit lot of food to get thro - but overexercise to combat feelings of inadequacy/shame/fear/guilt, etc, all past related and some to my fears of growing up (the future) as well. Part and parcel of anorexia, unfortunately. I wish I could use exercise healthily to gain and maintain fitness, but I use ut primarily to burn calories. So my dietitian upps the cals to make me gain weight - I get more energetic/panicky, end up exercising more. Vicious cycle. I've never used laxatives as a purging method and I physically can't make myself sick (tho had tried several times after a bad binge, 5yrs ago) and I've always enjoyed forms of exercise (never could keep still as a kid, so my energy levels now aren't all anorexia/malnutrition-induced hyperactivity.) So compulsive exercising has always been my form of "purging".
  • try reading the eating disorders article on this or next page, its got stories from sufferers exsufferers friends family and medics, its got some hard things in there though, but not exactly an easy topic is it!
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