Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa, also called bulimia, is an extreme and potentially fatal 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.

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.

Purging vs Non-purging

The two categories of bulimia are purging and non-purging. Although there can be an overlap in the methods used, roughly 90% of people with bulimia fall into the category of purging bulimia, which involves self-induced vomiting and/or the use of diuretics and laxatives.

With non-purging bulimia, the individual will engage in extreme exercise or diets, use of diet pills or stimulants, as well as fasting — as alternative methods to purging — to shed the excess calories and to prevent weight gain.


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

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.