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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 11:06 UK
New website to help men with bulimia

Actor playing depressed boy
Between 10 and 20% of people with bulimia are thought to be men

A man who spent years struggling with bulimia has set up a website for men with eating disorders because he says most of the help available is aimed at women.

Sam Thomas, 23, developed the condition at school when he was bullied from the age of 13.

He told Radio 5 Live that he'd always assumed it was a woman's problem.

"I initially sought help when I was 16. I saw an after hours doctor because I was in a completely desperate situation.

"At 18, when I got help then, I did tell my regular doctor what I was dealing with and they said to me, 'You're just depressed'.

"If I was a female with the exact set of situations I was going through with my bulimia then I would have probably got help for that a lot quicker."

Sam Thomas found out he had a problem after reading an agony aunt column in his mum's magazine.

He says bullying and low self-esteem led to him becoming bulimic.

He said: "It all kind of started with bullying at school and lots of other aspects."

More than a million people have eating disorders in the UK.

Between 10 and 20% of people with the condition are men, according to research from eating disorder charity Beat.

Sam Thomas says he hopes his website will help men talk about the condition more.

"The website offers information and advice because often we don't hear a lot of information specifically for males.

"Also it offers a message board where men can share their experiences and offer peer support.

"I'm getting emails from people all over the country, men that suffer eating disorders, also from around the world. I've had emails from people living in America and New Zealand."

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