Bulimia nervosa is usually called is a severe, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with bulimia secretly binge – eating large amounts of food, and then – to be cleaned, trying to get rid of extra calories in an unhealthy way. For example, someone with bulimia can cause vomiting or engage in excessive exercise. Sometimes people purge after eating only a small snack or a normal-sized meal.

Bulimia can be classified in two ways:

  • Flushing bulimia – You regularly self-induce vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas after overeating.
  • Non-purging bulimia – You can use other methods to get rid of calories and prevent weight gains, such as fasting, strict dieting, or excessive exercise.

However, such behavior often overlaps each other, and an attempt to get rid of excess calories, generally referred to as purging, no matter what method.

If you have bulimia, you are probably concerned about your weight and body shape. You can judge yourself severely and harshly for self-perceived flaws. Because it is associated with self-esteem – and not just about food – bulimia can be difficult to overcome. But effective treatment can help you feel better about yourself, adopt healthier eating habits and reverse serious complications.


Bulimia nervosa


Symptoms of Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Being who devoted your body shape and weight
  • Living in fear of gaining weight
  • Feeling that you can not control your eating behavior
  • Do not eat to the point of discomfort or pain
  • Eat more food to binge episodes than usual meals or snacks
  • Forcing yourself to vomit or exercise too much so as not to gain weight after overeating
  • Abusing laxatives, diuretics, or enemas after eating
  • Restricting calories or avoid certain foods between binges
  • The use of dietary supplements or herbal products for weight loss too


When to see a doctor

If you have any symptoms of bulimia, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If not treated, bulimia can seriously affect your health.

Talk with your primary care physician or mental health provider about the symptoms of bulimia and feelings. If you are reluctant to seek medical help, trust someone you are going through, whether a friend or a loved one, a teacher, a leader of faith, or someone else, you trust. They can help you take the first steps to get successful treatment of bulimia.

Help a loved one with symptoms of bulimia

If you believe that a loved one may have symptoms of bulimia, there is an open and honest discussion about their problems. You can not force someone to seek professional help, but you can offer support and encouragement. You can also help find a qualified doctor or mental health provider to make an appointment and even offer to come along.
Because most people with bulimia are average weight or slightly overweight, it may not be evident to others that something is wrong. Red flags that family and friends may notice include:

  • Constantly complain of anxiety or being fat.
  • With a distorted, excessively negative body image
  • Several times eating vast amounts of food in one sitting, especially foods people tend to avoid
  • Not wanting to eat in public places or the presence of others
  • Transition to the bathroom after meals or during meals
  • Exercising too much
  • Having sores, scars, or calluses on the joints of the fingers or hands
  • The presence of damaged teeth and gums


Bulimia nervosa Causes

The exact cause of bulimia is unknown. However, many factors can play a role in developing eating disorders, including biology, emotional health, social expectations, and other issues.1


Risk factors for Bulimia nervosa

Factors that increase the risk of bulimia may include:

  • Women – Girls and women are more likely to be bulimic than boys and men.
  • Age – Bulimia nervosa often begins in late adolescence or early adulthood.
  • Biology – People with first-degree relatives with an eating disorder may be more likely to develop an eating disorder, suggesting a possible genetic link. Furthermore, a deficiency in the brain chemical serotonin may play a role. And being overweight as a child or teenager may increase the risk.
  • Psychological and emotional problems – Psychological and emotional problems such as anxiety disorder or low self-esteem can contribute to eating disorders. The triggers for overeating can include stress, poor self-image, eating, restrictive dieting, or boredom. In some cases, traumatic events and environmental stress can be contributing factors.
  • The media and public pressure – Media such as television and fashion magazines often parade skinny models and actors. These images seem to equate thinness with success and popularity. But whether the media merely reflect social values or drive them is not clear.
  • Sport, artwork, or pressure – Athletes, actors, dancers, and models are at higher risk of eating disorders. In addition, coaches and parents may inadvertently increase the risk by encouraging young athletes to lose weight, maintain a low weight, and limit foods for better performance.


Complications of Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia can cause many severe and even life-threatening complications. Possible complications include:

  • Dehydration, which may lead to serious medical problems such as renal failure
  • Heart problems, such as irregular heartbeat or heart failure
  • Severe tooth decay and gum disease
  • In the absence of irregular menstruation in women
  • Digestive issues, and possibly dependent on laxatives to have a bowel movement
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicide


Bulimia nervosa Diagnosis

If your doctor suspects you have bulimia, they usually performed:

  • A full physical exam
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Psychological assessment, including a discussion of your eating habits and attitudes to food

Your doctor may also request additional tests to help pinpoint the diagnosis, rule out medical causes for weight changes and check for any complications.


The criteria for diagnosis

For the diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists these items:

  • You have recurrent episodes of eating abnormally large amounts of food – more than most people would eat in a similar amount of time and under similar circumstances, for example, two .hours
  • Do you feel a lack of control during a binge, for example, how much you eat and whether you can stop eating
  • You get rid of excess calories from overeating to avoid weight gain, vomiting, excessive exercise, fasting, or abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other drugs.
  • Do you binge and purge at least once a week for at least three months?
  • The shape of your body and weight affects your self-esteem too much.
  • You have no appetite, an eating disorder with highly restrictive eating behaviors.
  • Bulimia is determined by the severity of the number of times per week that you cleaned up.

Even if you do not meet all these criteria, you could still have an eating disorder. Therefore, do not try to diagnose yourself. Instead, get professional help if you have any eating disorder symptoms.


Bulimia nervosa Treatment

If you have bulimia, you may need several treatments, but a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants may be the most effective for overcoming the disorder.

Treatment usually involves a team approach that includes you, your family, your primary care physician, other health care provider, and a mental health provider and nutritionist experienced in treating eating disorders. In addition, yIn addition, you may have a case manager to coordinate your care.

Here’s a look at the options for the treatment of bulimia and thoughts.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, involves discussing your bulimia and related issues with the provider in mental health.

Available data indicate that these types of psychotherapy help to improve the symptoms of bulimia:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy – To help you identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones.
  • Family-based therapy – To help parents intervene to stop unhealthy behaviors have their teenager and then to help the teenager to gain control over their food, and finally, to help families deal with the problems that bulimia can have on the development of the adolescent and family
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy – This refers to the difficulties in your close relationships to help to improve your communication and problem-solving skills

Ask your mental health provider about psychotherapy; they will use the fact that there is evidence that shows that it is helpful in the treatment of bulimia.


Antidepressants may help reduce the symptoms of bulimia when used along with psychotherapy. The only antidepressant specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of bulimia is fluoxetine, a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which can help, even if you are not depressed.

Nutrition education and a healthy weight

Nutritionists and other health professionals can develop an eating plan to help you achieve a healthy weight, everyday eating habits, and good nutrition. In addition, if you have bulimia, you can use the medical supervision of weight loss programs.


Bulimia is usually treatable outside the hospital. But if you have severe health complications, you may need treatment in a hospital. Some eating disorder programs offer day treatment rather than inpatient hospitalization.

Challenges in the Treatment of Bulimia nervosa

Even though most people with bulimia do not recover, some believe that the symptoms do not go away completely. Periods of bingeing and purging may come and go through the years, depending on your life circumstances, such as relapse during a heavy stress

If you find yourself in a cycle of binge-purge, ‘booster.’ sessions with your health care providers can help you survive the crisis before your eating disorder spirals out of control again. In addition, learning positive ways to cope with the problem by creating a healthy relationship and stress management can help prevent relapse.


Bulimia nervosa Coping and support

You may find it challenging to cope with bulimia when you get mixed messages in the media, culture, coaches, family, and, perhaps, your friends or colleagues. So how do you cope with a disease that can be fatal when you also get the message, thinness is a sign of success:?

  • Remind yourself what a healthy weight is for your body.
  • Do not fall for diet choices or skip meals, which can cause overeating.
  • Do not visit Web sites that incite or glorify eating disorders.
  • Identify problem situations that are likely to trigger a thought or behavior that may contribute to your bulimia and develop a plan to deal with them.
  • Have a plan in place to cope with emotional distress failures.
  • Look at the positive role models that can help boost your self-esteem.
  • Find enjoyable activities and hobbies that can help distract you from thinking about eating and purging.
  • Build your self-esteem, forgive yourself, focus on the positive, and give yourself credit and support.

Get support

If you have bulimia, you and your family can find support groups to encourage, hope, and advise coping with stress. Members of the group can truly understand what you’re going through because they were there. Ask your doctor if they know that the groups in your area.

Coping Tips for parents

If you are a parent of someone with bulimia, you can blame yourself for your child’s eating disorder. But eating disorders have many causes, and parenting style is not considered the main reason. Instead, it is best to focus on how you can help your child now.

Here are some suggestions to support your child:

  • Ask your child what you can do to help. For example, ask if your teenager plans family activities after a meal to reduce the temptation to clear.
  • Speaking Allow your child to express feelings.
  • Schedule regular family meals. Nutrition during routine time is essential to help reduce overeating.
  • Let your teen know any concerns you have. But to do this without placing blame.

Remember that eating disorders affect the whole family, and you have to take care of yourself too. If you do not always cope with your child’s illness, you might benefit from professional counseling. Or ask your child’s doctor about support groups for parents of children with eating disorders.


Bulimia nervosa Lifestyle and home remedies

Although you can not treat bulimia on your own, in addition to professional treatment, follow these self-care tips for bulimia:

  • Stick to your treatment plan – do not miss the therapy sessions, and try not to deviate from the meal plans, even if they make you uncomfortable.
  • Learn about bulimia – Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan.
  • Get proper nutrition – If you do not eat well or frequently purge, your body will likely not get all the nutrients it needs. Eating regularly and without restricting your diet is the first step in overcoming bulimia. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate vitamin and mineral supplementation.
  • Stay in touch – Do not isolate yourself from family members and friends who want to see that you get healthy. Understand that they have their best interests at heart and that education, caring relationships are healthy for you.
  • Be kind to yourself – Resist the urge to weigh yourself and check yourself in the mirror often. You cannot do anything but fuel your drive to maintain bad habits.
  • Be careful with exercise – Talk to your doctor about what kind of physical activity, if any, is appropriate for you, especially if you exercise excessively to burn calories after a binge.


Bulimia nervosa Preparing for your appointment.

Here is some information to help you prepare for your appointment and expect from your doctor or other health care provider.

What can you do

Before the appointment, make a list:

  • Your symptoms, even those that may seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
  • Key personal information, including any significant stresses or recent life changes
  • All drugs, herbs, vitamins, and other supplements you are taking and their dosages
  • Questions to ask your doctor so you can make the most of your time together

Ask a family member or friend to come with you, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. A family member may also be able to give your doctor a complete picture of your home life.

Some questions to ask your doctor or other health care provider include:

  • What kinds of tests do I need? Perform these tests require any special preparation?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • Is there a standard alternative medicine you prescribed for me?
  • How will treatment affect my weight?
  • Will my periods start again?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed materials that I can have?
  • What sites do you recommend?

Do not hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.


What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor or other health care provider is likely to ask you a few questions, such as:

  • How long have you been worried about your weight?
  • Do you exercise? If yes, how often?
  • Will you find some other ways to lose weight?
  • Do you have any physical symptoms?
  • Have you ever vomited because you were uncomfortably full?
  • Have you ever drug for weight loss?
  • What do you think about food often?
  • Do you ever eat in secret?
  • Does anyone in your family have ever had symptoms of an eating disorder or whatever was diagnosed with an eating disorder?

Your doctor will ask additional questions based on your responses, symptoms, and needs.


Prevention of Bulimia nervosa

Although there is no sure way to prevent bulimia, you can send someone to a more healthy behavior or professional treatment before the situation worsens. Here’s how you can help:

  • Foster and strengthen a healthy body image in your children, regardless of their size or shape
  • Talk to your pediatrician. Pediatricians may be in an excellent position to identify early indicators of an eating disorder and help prevent its development.
  • If you find a relative or friend who seems to have a problem with eating habits, talk to someone about these issues and ask how they can help you.