FORTY FIVE per cent of men have suffered from ‘bigorexia’ out of muscle obsession, claims expert
By James Nye | dailymail.com
Health professionals are warning of the growing and potentially deadly obsession with body building among men – labeling the trend ‘bigorexia’. As many as 45 perent of men are believed to suffer from muscle dysmorphia or bigorexia at one point in their lives and the supplements used to build this muscle can potentially lead to kidney and liver damage. Mesmerized by magazine covers of well-toned men, recent research has revealed that men are insecure about their weight and body image and go to obsessive lengths down the gym to change this fact.
About 45 percent of men are dissatisfied with their body image. 1 in 10 people who are diagnosed with an eating disorder is a man,’ said Dr. Michele Kerulis the director of sports & health psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
It takes over your life, so every decision you make becomes about the workout and how your body looks. I used to track and weigh every single ounce of food that went in my body, I used to wake up a 3 o’clock in the morning to drink protein shakes, I never missed a workout, ever, ever, ever,’ said Alfonso to CBS New York.
Dr. Kerulis said that men of all ages are falling victim to the condition and the effects are not just physical.
‘This obsession can start quickly or it can begin over a period of time. We see psychological abnormalities including irritability, angry outbursts, which sometimes people would call a ‘roid rage,’ we see depression sometimes mania,’ said Kerulis.
It was this desire to become as well defined as he could that set Alfonso’s life off the rails.
‘I can remember as young as 13, 14 looking at some of these muscle magazines, and I was conditioned to think that’s what a man looked like so big shoulders, big legs, just big muscles with veins everywhere,’ said the personal trainer.
Physically pushing himself to the point where he needed surgery was the wake up call that Alfonso needed.
‘I finally came to a revelation, only after 11 or 12 years because I had neck surgery,’ explains Alfonso.
‘I had major neck surgery. I had ruptured a disc in my neck, and it basically paralyzed me on the right side of my body.’
Dr. Selene Parekh also warned of the internal damage that bigorexia eventually can cause.
‘So individuals who have ‘bigorexia,’ a lot of them tend to use supplements and if you, you overdose on these supplements, without having a balanced diet you can develop kidney and liver failure, and as that happens you may need a liver or kidney transplant or your could eventually die,’ said Parekh.
Now recovered, Alfonso is now working to encourage other men to have a healthy body image and to try realistic workouts.