Bulimia Nervosa

BY Nick Harborth .5 10/13/15

Definition

This is an eating disorder in which an individual binges on food then purges the food from the body by self induced vomiting through the use of laxatives and enemas or with excessive exercises.

Background

  • Bulimia is often triggered when young women attempt restrictive diets, fail, and react by binge eating. (Binge eating involves consuming larger than normal amounts of food within a 2-hour period.)
  • In response to the binges, patients compensate, usually by purging, vomiting, using enemas, or taking laxatives, diet pills, or drugs to reduce fluids.
  • Patients then revert to severe dieting, excessive exercise, or both. (Some patients with bulimia follow bingeing only with fasting and exercise. They are then considered to have non-purging bulimia.)
  • The cycle then swings back to bingeing and then to purging again.
  • To be diagnosed with bulimia, however, a patient must binge and purge at least twice a week for 3 months.
  • In some cases, the condition progresses to anorexia. Most people with bulimia, however, have a normal to high-normal body weight, although it may fluctuate by more than 10 pounds because of the binge-purge cycle