Bulimia is a debilitating eating disorder affecting the lives of millions of females, who have higher rates of bulimia than males. Up to 4% of females will suffer from bulimia at some point in their lifetimes.
Bulimia is especially debilitating because of its negative effects on sufferers’ lifestyles and body images. Extreme dieting, exercise, self-induced vomiting and the abuse of laxatives might all be strategies used by bulimia sufferers to counteract the effects of binging. Bulimia symptoms normally start around adolescence and can go from routinized to compulsive in a short amount of time without professional intervention.
What troubles many clinicians studying the disorder is the number of patients who don’t respond to traditional treatment. Thankfully, research has indicated a new form of cognitive behavior therapy that may aid in a patient’s recovery.
Could Stimulating the Brain Help Bulimia Sufferers?
These unfortunate realities have lead researchers to search for novel therapies for hard-to-treat bulimia. One such therapy is transcranial (meaning “across” the cranium, or head) direct current stimulation. Some readers might be skeptical about this approach, but research shows that tDCS can provide bulimia symptom relief.
Research shows that bulimia affects pathways in the brain that are associated with self-control. If you suffer from bulimia or know someone who has suffered from the disorder, then you know that bulimia can often have a compulsive, addictive dimension.
Recent neuroscientific research actually shows that it may be possible to improve your brain pathways with the help of completely painless, safe and effective transcranial direct current stimulation.
tDCS Could Significantly Reduce Bulimia Symptoms
The news that tDCS could significantly reduce bulimia symptoms like binging and improve self-control is great news for bulimia sufferers.
How did researchers come about these findings?
Researchers took a placebo group and an experimental group and provided tDCS to the experimental group of bulimia sufferers only. Researchers found that non-invasive electric stimulation improved patients’ ability to delay gratification and enhance decision making. tDCS also improved mood for many in the experimental group.
Preliminary findings show that tDCS can improve self-control in patients suffering from bulimia by perhaps suppressing the urge to binge eat and reducing other bulimia symptoms. For patients who haven’t found adequate symptom relief from traditional psychological therapies alone, tDCS might well be worth exploring further.
Think tDCS may be an option for you or a loved one? Contact your doctor today to discuss the best treatment options for you or your loved one.