Bulimia Eating Disorder Causes Bulimic Binge, Purge Symptoms for Bulimia Nervosa Treatment

Bulimia, aka bulimia nervosa, is an eating disorder marked by a binge then purge cycle of behavior. Essentially if you’re bulimic, you’ll overeat and then attempt to “purge” what you just ate to prevent weight gain. Some of the desperate means used to accomplish this are vomiting, laxative overuse, diuretics, diet pillsenemas, periods of fasting to starvation or excessive exercise.

Bulimia is not the same as anorexia nervosa, although many do suffer from both eating disorders. Generally, anorexics have control over the amount of food they eat and have a distorted body image causing them to become excessively thin. While bulimics have a problem controlling what they eat and can maintain an appropriate weight despite binging because of purging. Albeit, a bulimic can be anorexic or obese as well.

What these two eating disorders do have in common is:

  • a fear of gaining weight
  • desperate need to lose weight
  • see themselves as being overweight
  • an unhappiness with body size & shape

What causes the binge, purge eating pattern of bulimia nervosa is unknown, yet these factors and triggers seem to play a role:

  • dieting
  • criticism about looks
  • emotions ~ anger, sadness
  • traumatic events, life changes
  • purging to ease stress & anxiety
  • genes, hormones, brain chemicals
  • constant pressure to fit a certain ideal look

Bulimic binge, purge behavior is typically done in secret. However, there are a couple of binge signs indicating someone may have bulimia nervosa, such as going to bathroom immediately following a meal, unusual inordinate consumption of food and food disappearing all of sudden.

Probably the most stark health effects of bulimia is what stomach acid does to your mouth and esophagus during purging episodes. Routine self induced throwing up commonly can eventually cause these purge symptoms:

Other health effects and symptoms of binge, purge practice of bulimia include:

Bulimia can put your health at risk for permanent organ damage, particularly your esophagus. And you’ll likely stop purging once you’re treated for binging.

Bulimia nervosa treatment generally kicks off with cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of psychotherapy, and nutritional therapy. When this treatment is not enough, antidepressants may be prescribed.

Bulimia is a difficult eating disorder to overcome and relapse is common.