suffering with Bulimia Nervosa consume large amounts of food and
then rid their bodies of the excess calories by vomiting, utilising
laxatives or diuretics, taking enemas, or excessive exercising.
Many sufferers will use a combination of all these forms of purging
and "binge and purge" in secret to maintain normal or
above normal body weight. In many cases these sufferers may successfully
hide their problem from others for years.
frequent binges and purges, is common, which can range from once
or twice a week to several times a day. Dieting heavily between
episodes of binging and purging is also a practice adopted. Eventually,
half of those with anorexia will develop bulimia.
As with anorexia,
bulimia typically begins during adolescence. The condition occurs
most often in women but is also found in men. Many individuals
with bulimia, ashamed of their strange habits, do not seek help
until they reach their thirties or forties. By this time, their
eating behavior is deeply ingrained and more difficult to change.
The patient repeatedly eats in binges. In a binge episode the
patient has both of:
much more food than most people would in similar circumstances
and in a similar period of time.
Feels that the eating is out of control.
The patient repeatedly controls weight gain by inappropriate means
such as: fasting, self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise or
abuse of laxatives, diuretics or other drugs.
On average, both of the above behaviors (binge eating and inappropriate
control) have occurred at least twice a month for at least 3 consecutive
Weight and body shape unduly affect the patient's self-evaluation.
These symptoms do not occur solely during episodes of Anorexia
Purging type: The patient often induces vomiting or misuses diuretics
or laxatives. This is the more common type.
Nonpurging type: The patient fasts or exercises excessively but
does not often induce vomiting or misuse diuretics or laxatives.
esteem of individuals with eating disorders is directly related
to their body shape, and weight. This eating disorder often lead
to diminished concentration and attention leaving one less able
to focus on academic course or professional work. Preoccupation
with food and body image result in feelings of anxiety which may
also interfere with daily functioning. In severe cases medical
problems may arise such as hypotension, dental enamel erosion,
malnutrition, impaired renal functioning, electrolyte imbalance,
and cardiovascular problems which require medical attention and
interventions may include individual or group therapy. Often simply
beginning a course of treatment will result in a feeling of relief
at no longer having to keep such an important part of one's life
a secret. The focus of psychotherapy is often on improving self-esteem,
but may be supplemented with nutrition education, discussions
of eating habits, exploration of the role that food and eating
play in one's life and underlying family and interpersonal dynamics