What is Bulima Nervosa

Although one description of Bulimia Nervosa is self-induced vomiting after eating an excessive amount of food, the behaviors of Bulimia Nervosa can be more widely defined.

Bulimia Nervosa does usually begin with a binge. Often times, that binge is characterized by eating large quantities of food. Sometimes the binge is also intentional and even ritualistic. For example, you may go to the grocery store and purchase a lot of foods you forbid yourself from eating. You may even take care in how you set up the binge so that it is planned and prepped just right, and then executed in the same way each time.

This then is followed by purging the food, sometimes through self-induced vomiting but can also be through other means of avoiding weight gain. For example, another common method is Excessive Exercise, exercising even if your exhausted, injured, have something more important to do, etc. Exercising becomes the most important activity because controlling your weight while also bingeing is of the utmost importance.

Bulimia Nervosa is a very serious eating disorder and can result in serious health consequences and even death due to the physical strain that bingeing, vomiting and/or Excessive Exercise can put on your body.

Health Concerns for Those with Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Damage to the digestive system and electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body. Electrolyte imbalances can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death.  Electrolyte imbalance is caused by dehydration and loss of potassium and sodium from the body as a result of purging behaviors.
  • Inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus from frequent vomiting.
  • Tooth decay and staining from stomach acids released during frequent vomiting.
  • Chronic irregular bowel movements and constipation as a result of laxative abuse.
  • Gastric rupture is less common but a possible side effect of binge eating.

The behaviors of Bulimia Nervosa are an attempt to cope with deeper, underlying emotional challenges. This is the reason that seeking help from qualified professionals is often necessary when struggling with Bulimia Nervosa.

Depending on the severity of your behaviors, it may be best to seek help from a residential treatment facility. Because Bulimia Nervosa can be so detrimental to your health now and in the future, please consider calling a treatment facility from our Directory and getting an assessment. They can give you recommendations as to the level of care you may need.

If residential care feels way too scary, then start your recovery by contacting a provider in your area. Look in the Eating Disorder Directory for those who specify experience in working with those with Bulimia Nervosa.

Either way, get help today! It is possible to heal from Bulimia Nervosa and to live a long and prosperous life!