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Bulimia Nervosa

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Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized primarily by a cycle of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting, in an attempt to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.

During a "binge," the person consumes a large amount of food in a rapid, automatic, and helpless fashion.  This may anesthetize hunger, anger, and other feelings, but eventually creates physical discomfort and anxiety about weight gain.  Thus, the person "purges" the food eaten - usually by inducing vomiting and by resorting to some combination of restrictive dieting, excessive exercising, laxatives, and diuretics."

Facts vs. Myths

MYTH

Bulimia is a good way to lose weight - to have your cake and eat it too.

FACT 
Bulimia is a poor weight reduction method.  First, it doesn't work (as was concluded in a London study of 500 bulimics where a weight gain of 7-10 pounds occurred for each) and secondly, it is very dangerous and creates an altered biochemical state predisposing one to numerous physiological and psychological problems.


MYTH 
Bulimia is only true of those who consume huge amounts of calories (1,000-30,000) in one sitting and then throw up immediately afterward.


FACT 
Bulimia is a word used to describe people whose eating is out of control.  A binge may be as small as several cookies or as large as three bags of groceries.  People who are bulimic think about food, feel guilty about it, binge, then think about how to get rid of the food/weigh - any number of methods are used. . . purging through vomiting or the use of laxatives and/or diuretics, exercise, sleeping it off, and/or fasting for the next several hours of days.

 

Useful Links to other sites about Eating Disorders:

The Center for Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc

Eating Disorder Shared Awareness

MentalHealth.net’s Eating Disorder Page

Mirror Mirror Eating Disorder Shared Awareness

Eating Disorders/Disordered Culture

Symptoms

•  Regular intake of large amounts of food accompanied by a sense of loss of control over eating behavior.

•  Regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, fasting and/or obsessive or compulsive exercise.

•  Extreme concern with body weight and shape.

•  Frequent trips to the bathroom after meals.

•  Depression or mood swings.

•  Bulimics may be of average or slightly above average weight, usually do most of their bingeing and purging secretly, and have rapid weight gains and losses.

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