A man who spent years battling bulimia has set up a ground-breaking website for men affected by eating disorders.

Sam Thomas was shocked at the lack of help available to him while he was dealing with his problems.

The Men Get Eating Disorders Too site has already proved popular in the UK and around the world.

Mr Thomas, 23, first began having problems when he was bullied at school from the age of 13.

He said: “It got so bad that I used to run out of lessons, hide in the toilets and binge eat sweets, crisps and bread.

“I would eat until I felt sick and then I would make myself sick.

“It started off at school but my home life was not too good either and so I used to do it there as well.

“It was a coping mechanism but it gradually got out of control.

“Although I did realise I had a problem, I didn’t realise what it was until I was 15 or 16 when I read about it in an agony aunt column in one of my mum’s magazines.

“I'd always assumed it was a woman's problem and it was a shock when I found out.”

Mr Thomas moved to Brighton when he was 18 and tried to get support for his health problems.

He said: “I felt that if I had been a woman or young girl my problems with eating would have been taken more seriously but because I was male it was dismissed.

“However getting away and settling into a new place like Brighton helped a lot and and I found ways to deal with and control the bulimia myself.”

It has been two years since Mr Thomas, on London Road, Brighton, had a binge session and he now feels ready to help others.

He said: “I'm hoping this website will raise awareness of the issue as well as provide the essential information so men can get the help they need.

“I definitely would have benefited from a site myself.

“It would have also helped ease the isolation by putting me in touch with other men in the same situation.

“I have had a lot of feedback from people who say how pleased they are something like this is now available.”

Mr Thomas works in a health foods shop and also supports the Allsorts Project, a group set up to meet the needs of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

He was given the funding for the website from the ITV Fixers project which challenges young people aged between 16 and 25 to identify an issue of concern and gives them the practical help and guidance to fix the problem.

The site covers subjects including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and much more and can be found at www.mengetedstoo.co.uk.

Emma Healey, the director of operations at beat, a national charity dedicated to beating eating disorders, said: “It is really good to raise the issue of men and eating disorders.

“For too long it has been overlooked or missed by GPs and health professionals and so it is excellent that more people are being made aware.”

A research study carried out by the charity in 2000 found that between ten and 20% of the 60,000 people with eating disorders are men.