Bulimia Nervosa

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Bulimia Nervosa is mental health condition that controls people affected by it into thinking they can eat as much as they want without getting fat. It affects both males and females, but is more common in teenagers and adult women. Since most times it goes undiagnosed and untreated in most people, it is difficult to give accurate statistics about it.

However, according to a report by John Hopkins Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, between 0.5 percent of males and 2 to 3 percent of women develop the disorder over their lifetime. Bulimia is commonly started between the ages of 12 – 25 years.

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Bulimia Nervosa

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia Nervosa, also called Bulimia, is an eating disorder in which a person consumes a large amount of food in a short period of time, then tries to lose the food by vomiting, or using laxatives to purge themselves or goes for a long fast to try to get rid of weight gain. People with Bulimia have a cycle of Binging eating and Purging, and normal eating pattern cannot be maintained.

What Is Binge Eating and Purging?

Binge Eating

Binge eating is an uncontrollable loss of control when eating. This disorder causes you to over feed without being able to stop yourself, while leaving you with a feeling of disgust over the rate at which you eat. You tend to consume a large amount of food over a short period of time. It could be within 2 hours. It can be done with food that is easy to eat and dispel, and sometimes any available food. It can be so progressive that it becomes frantic and makes the person feel out of control.


After the eating phase, a feeling of being fat, unattractive, and guilt is now felt as a result of your impulsive eating. Hence, you feel a need to get rid of all the food you have eaten through the following ways:

  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Use of laxative
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Using weight control drugs
  • A long period of fasting in order to burn off the calories they have accumulated.
  • Intestinal and bowel damage
  • Treatment Procedure

    Most people with these conditions are usually secretive about it and it can be emotional and physically draining. Both Psychological and medical help is needed.

    • First, get to talk about it. This might be difficult and requires patience from friends and family as it is difficult talking about something you don’t understand.
    • Give reassurance to any form of fear about being rejected
    • Talk to your doctor. He/she may not be a specialist on food disorder but they can refer you to a specialist and help you get help.
    • Antidepressants stops the bingeing but it should be based on recommendations.
    • You will have to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Management Procedure

    During the period of treatment and even after treatments, certain adjustments in your lifestyle should be made to help you manage the disorder. They include:

    • Try staying around people as this may reduce the time you spent alone with an intense craving to binge.
    • Throw leftover food after you have had your normal meal to avoid bingeing.
    • Cook very little food to avoid any craving to over feed.
    • Leave the house with little or no money to reduce the temptation of getting food for bingeing.
    • Avoid things that might cause emotional stress, since bingeing may arise again as a means of emotional outlet
    • Get more information on it and realize that you may still have episodes of bingeing and purging but you should not give up.

    Anavara can give you more information and help you with connecting with a good specialist to consult with. Visit us at www.anavara.com.

    Recoverability Rate

    Bulimia Nervosa is a mental food disorder that could be difficult to stop but it is possible through proper treatment, care, and support from family and loved ones. All therapies and treatment must be followed consistently to avoid relapses. 

    Although some patients with this disorder have been able to recover completely, there are several who find foregoing the habit difficult, still having little episodes of binging and purging.

    We will be glad to provide you with more information and counseling. Email us at [email protected]


    This is dependent on how severe your Bulimia disorder has become. Bulimia is characterized by the following:

    • Frequent change in weight loss
    • The feeling of being bloated or constipated
    • Wanting to eat alone or in private
    • Irregularities in the menstrual period
    • Dizziness and not sleeping well people
    • Absorbed thoughts of eating, food, body shape
    • Sensitivity to remarks body shape and food
    • Extreme body dissatisfaction
    • Depression and anxiety.
    • Secretive behavior around food
    • Vomiting frequently immediately after eating or use of the toilet after eating
    • Avoiding the company of people.


    The cause of Bulimia Nervosa could be:

    • Genetic Predisposition and vulnerability
    • Strict dieting
    • Emotional trauma; as a means to deal with emotions that you feel cannot be dealt with any other way.
    • Social media and environmental factors; wanting to fit into an ideal picture portrayed by the fashion world on media.


    1. What is the difference between Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa?

    Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that involves a patient with a habit of throwing up whatsoever she has eaten and starving herself thereafter. The patient experiences severe weight loss due to self-starvation.

    While Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder where the patient always has an uncontrollable desire to eat as much as she can without stopping. The patient might throw up after eating due to guilt, but when she sees food again, she can't help but eat.  People suffering from bulimia may still have a normal weight or even weigh more than normal.

    2. What treatment is the most effective treatment for Bulimia Nervosa?

    The most effective treatment is Cognitive behavioral therapy which includes monitoring thoughts that leads to bingeing. Nutritional rehabilitation to normalize eating behaviors may also help.

    3. Are there other health complications one might experience if they have bulimia?

    Yes, it is possible to experience other health complications such as tooth decay and gum infections due to continual vomiting, kidney complications, depression, anxiety sometimes even suicidal feelings.

    4. What can happen if a pregnant woman also suffers from Bulimia?

    When a pregnant woman is also suffering from Bulimia Nervosa, the effect may result in premature childbirth, hypertension, depression, low birth weight.

    5. Do Bulimics lose weight?

    People with bulimia have normal weight even if they may have episodes of anorexia but because of the more calories they tend to consume through bingeing, their overall weight isn't loss

    6. Can I miss my period because of bulimia?

    Yes, it Is very possible to miss your monthly flow due to the irregularities in your hormonal level which bulimia could contribute base on the abnormal eating level.