Bulimia Nervosa


What is bulimia nervosa? Bulimia is an eating disorder. You binge eat and then vomit, use laxatives, starve yourself, or exercise for hours to prevent weight gain. This behavior happens often, usually at least 2 times a week for several months.

What increases my risk for bulimia nervosa? Bulimia is most common among women, but men can also have bulimia. It usually begins between the ages of 13 and 28. The following may increase your risk for bulimia:

What are the signs and symptoms of bulimia nervosa?

How is bulimia nervosa diagnosed? Your caregiver will examine you and check your height and weight. He will ask how you feel about yourself and how you control your weight. He may ask you to fill out several forms about your feelings and eating habits. He may ask a parent or friend about your behavior and eating habits. This is because patients with bulimia often find it very hard to discuss their symptoms or ask for help. You may need the following tests:

How is bulimia nervosa treated? It is important to understand that bulimia is a life-threatening medical condition. Treatment may need to take place in a hospital or clinic. One goal of treatment is to develop healthy thoughts about your body and food. Another goal is to treat or prevent serious health problems that can occur because of bulimia. Treatment will be more effective if you understand the seriousness of your condition and truly want to get better. You may have relapses, but with treatment, you can recover from bulimia.

What are the risks of bulimia nervosa?

Where can I find support and more information?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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