BY Nick Harborth .5 10/13/15
- 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