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How to Get Rid of Bulimia nervosa


Bulimia nervosa refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, which are also termed 'binges'. There is a preoccupation with food and a habitual adoption of certain behaviours that can be understood as the patient's attempts to avoid the fattening effects of periodic binges. These behaviours include:

  • self-induced vomiting
  • laxative abuse
  • misuse of drugs - diuretics, thyroid extract or anorectics.

An estimated 4.2% women experience Bulimia. Because purging or other compensatory behaviour follows the Binge-eating episodes, people with Bulimia usually weight within the normal range for their age and height. However, like individuals with Anorexia, they may fear gaining weight, desire to loose weight and feel intensely dissatisfied with their bodies. But they are highly secretive with their conditions.

Causes of bulimia nervosa

The cause of bulimia nervosa is unknown, but psychosocial factors may contribute to its development. These factors include family disturbance or conflict, sexual abuse, maladaptive learned behavior, struggle for control or self-identity. cultural overemphasis on physical appearance, and parental obesity. Bulimia nervosa is commonly associated with depression. anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. all of which may interfere with recovery. Depression in a bulimic patient may lead to suicide attempts or a completed suicide.

Common symptoms of Bulimia nervosa

  • Recurrent episodes of Binge-eating.
  • Compensating such periods by self induced vomiting, fasting or excessive exercise.
  • Both these behaviour occur on average at least twice a week for 3 months.

Diagnosis information

Diagnosis of bulimia begins with a history and physical examination. The primary care provider may order tests to check the person's health status, including:

  • blood tests such as a complete blood count
  • electrocardiography to check for heart problems
  • urinalysis to check for dehydration and infection
  • chest X-ray to check for rib fractures, heart problems, or lung infection
  • abdominal X-ray to look for digestive tract problems.

Additional diagnostic tools include the Beck Depression Inventory, which may identify coexisting depression, and laboratory tests to help determine the presence and severity of complications. Serum electrolyte studies may show elevated bicarbonate, decreased potassium, and decreased sodium levels.

Additional clinical features include:

  • physical complications of vomiting:
    1. cardiac arrhythmias
    2. renal impairment - consequences of low K +
    3. muscular paralysis
    4. tetany - from hypokalaemic alkalosis
    5. swollen salivary glands - from vomiting
    6. eroded dental enamel
  • associated psychiatric disorders:
    1. depressive illness
    2. alcohol misuse
  • fluctuations in bodyweight
  • menstrual function - periods irregular but amenorrhoea rare
  • personality - perfectionism and low self-esteem present premorbidly.

The prevalence of bulimia in community studies is high; it affects between 5% and 30% of girls attending high schools, colleges or universities in the USA. Bulimia is sometimes associated with anorexia nervosa. A premorbid history of dieting is common. The prognosis for bulimia nervosa is better than for anorexia nervosa.

Bulimia nervosa treatment

Treatment of bulimia nervosa may continue for several years. Interrelated physical and psychological symptoms must be treated simultaneously. Merely promoting weight gain isn't sufficient to guarantee long-term. A patient whose physical status is severely compromised by inadequate or chaotic eating patterns is difficult to engage in the psychotherapeutic process.

Psychotherapy concentrates on interrupting the binge-purge cycle and helping the patient regain control over her eating behavior. Inpatient or outpatient treatment includes behavior modification therapy, which may take place in highly structured psycho educational group meetings. Individual psychotherapy and family therapy, which address the eating disorder as a symptom of unresolved conflict, may help the patient understand the basis of her behavior and teach her self-control strategies. Antidepressant drugs, particularly selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRls), may be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy.

The patient may also benefit from participation in self-help groups such as Overeaters Anonymous or a drug rehabilitation program if she has a concurrent substance abuse problem.

Facts and Tips about Bulimia Nervosa

  • Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder when men and women eat a large quantity of food in a relatively short period of time and then use behaviors for example  self induced vomiting or strong laxatives.
  • Bulimia nervosa is characterized by frequent binge eating, followed by compensatory behaviors.
  • There are two types of Bulimia nervosa first purging bulimia and second nonpurging bulimia.
  • Symptoms of bulimia nervosa including regular uncontrollable eating binges, abuse of laxatives or diuretics, excessive unhappiness or concern about body shape and size, swollen cheeks, menstrual irregularities, dry skin and chronic fatigue.
  • There is no one exact cause of bulimia nervosa but it is believed to result from a combination of factors including distorted notions of self-perceived body image, feeling societal pressure to look a certain way, binge eating for emotional comfort; purging to manage weight,  require to feel control.
  • Generally some risk factors for developing bulimia nervosa like genetics, early onset of menstruation, past weight issues, body image issues, depression, anxiety, and perfectionism.

Eating Disorder Overview
Bulimia Nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa
Binge Eating Disorder
Compulsive eating disorder

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