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Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa -
Often called bulimia for short, is an eating disorder in which an individual binge eats; often thousands of calories in one sitting and then purges the food. Purging may involve self-induced vomiting, compulsive exercise, fasting or abuse of laxatives or diuretics.

Bulimia can be hidden from others, since bulimics often appear to be within a normal weight range. The binge/purge episodes may be a few times a week or several times a day. The purpose of the purging is to “undo” the binge. It is an attempt to relieve the guilt of the binge eating and to minimize any weight gain that might ordinarily take place as a result. Purging is probably more destructive than bingeing for two reasons. First, there are many physical and medical dangers associated with purging. Second, purging helps legitimize bingeing; that is, by undoing the binge, purging makes bingeing more likely to occur in the future.
Persons with Bulimia have low self-esteem, negative self-thoughts, extreme concern with body weight and shape, depressed feelings, and a sense of shame. They may be coping with identity questions, concerns about relationships, family problems, or past sexual abuse. They feel out of control and pursue thinness as a way to feel better. However, the consequence of dieting and deprivation sets the stage for a binge, followed by a purge. The cycle repeats, as the underlying problems have not been addressed.

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