Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by separate episodes of binge eating followed by “makeup” measures taken to avoid gaining weight and/or to induce weight loss, such as purging.

Prevalence

Bulimia nervosa tends to develop during adolescence and early adulthood, and the male to female ratio is 1:10. People who have a family history of bulimia nervosa are more likely to develop this condition.

Bulimia Nervosa vs Anorexia Nervosa

There is often a lot of confusion between bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. The main difference between the two diagnoses is that anorexia nervosa is a syndrome of self-starvation involving significant weight loss, whereas patients with bulimia nervosa are, by definition, at normal weight or above.

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa:

Binge eating in the context of bulimia nervosa refers to the uncontrollable and ravenous consumption of a large quantity of food in a short period of time.

People with bulimia nervosa might:

  • Purge to prevent weight gain and/or induce weight loss
  • Take laxatives, enemas, and/or diuretics
  • Exercise excessively
  • Impose severe restrictions on their diet
  • Have a preoccupation with their body weight and shape

Diagnosing Bulimia Nervosa:

For a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa to be made, the episodes of binge eating and compensatory behaviors must occur a minimum of once a week for at least three months.

Causes of Bulimia Nervosa:

Other factors that render an individual more vulnerable to developing bulimia nervosa include:

  • Stress
  • Cultural pressure to attain a certain body type
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obesity

Bulimia Nervosa complications:

The complications of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Thickened skin on the knuckles
  • Erosion and decay of teeth – as a result of excessive vomiting
  • Dehydration – which can lead to major medical problems such as kidney failure
  • Heart problems – such as irregular rhythm of the heart and heart failure
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances – diarrhea, constipation
  • Absent periods in females

Bulimia is frequently associated with other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and addiction problems like alcohol dependence syndrome.

Risk factors for Bulimia Nervosa:

Bulimia adds an increased risk of suicide and self-harm.

Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa:

A holistic approach is adopted in the treatment of bulimia nervosa that is provided by a multidisciplinary team comprised of the patient, their family, a primary care doctor, a physician, a psychiatrist, and a dietician.

Both psychotherapy and pharmacological therapy are used in the treatment of bulimia nervosa.

  • Psychotherapy – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy, has been shown to be effective in the treatment of bulimia nervosa (BN) in adults. CBT involves teaching a person with bulimia nervosa to challenge negative automatic thoughts (NAT) and to engage in behavioral experiments such as a session of eating of “forbidden foods.”
  • Pharmacological therapy – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to reduce symptoms of bulimia nervosa.

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa:

Binge eating in the context of bulimia nervosa refers to the uncontrollable and ravenous consumption of a large quantity of food in a short period of time.

People with bulimia nervosa might:

  • Purge to prevent weight gain and/or induce weight loss
  • Take laxatives, enemas, and/or diuretics
  • Exercise excessively
  • Impose severe restrictions on their diet
  • Have a preoccupation with their body weight and shape

Diagnosing Bulimia Nervosa:

For a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa to be made, the episodes of binge eating and compensatory behaviors must occur a minimum of once a week for at least three months.

Causes of Bulimia Nervosa:

Other factors that render an individual more vulnerable to developing bulimia nervosa include:

  • Stress
  • Cultural pressure to attain a certain body type
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obesity

Bulimia Nervosa complications:

The complications of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Thickened skin on the knuckles
  • Erosion and decay of teeth – as a result of excessive vomiting
  • Dehydration – which can lead to major medical problems such as kidney failure
  • Heart problems – such as irregular rhythm of the heart and heart failure
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances – diarrhea, constipation
  • Absent periods in females

Bulimia is frequently associated with other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and addiction problems like alcohol dependence syndrome.

Risk factors for Bulimia Nervosa:

Bulimia adds an increased risk of suicide and self-harm.

Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa:

A holistic approach is adopted in the treatment of bulimia nervosa that is provided by a multidisciplinary team comprised of the patient, their family, a primary care doctor, a physician, a psychiatrist, and a dietician.

Both psychotherapy and pharmacological therapy are used in the treatment of bulimia nervosa.

  • Psychotherapy – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy, has been shown to be effective in the treatment of bulimia nervosa (BN) in adults. CBT involves teaching a person with bulimia nervosa to challenge negative automatic thoughts (NAT) and to engage in behavioral experiments such as a session of eating of “forbidden foods.”
  • Pharmacological therapy – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to reduce symptoms of bulimia nervosa.
Sources MAYO CLINIC | WIKIPEDIA – Eating Disorder | WIKIPEDIA – Binge Eating | WIKIPEDIA – Russell’s sign | WIKIPEDIA – Mental Disorder | WIKIPEDIA – Depression (mood) | WIKIPEDIA – Anxiety | WIKIPEDIA – Suicide | WIKIPEDIA – Self-harm