Bulimia Nervosa: Symptoms and treatment

Gytree Team
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Bulimia Nervosa: Symptoms and treatment

Bulimia Nervosa is a serious eating disorder, characterised by uncontrolled episodes of overeating, called cycles of bingeing and then self-inducing vomiting to compensate for the bingeing or misusing laxatives to poop more. Bingeing means eating much larger amounts of food in a very short period of time. Evidence of binge eating in bulimia nervosa can be found through the disappearance of large amounts of food in very short periods of time or having a large number of empty wrappers or food containers. There's usually a sense of lack of control over eating during these episodes of eating. Bulimia can affect both genders but most often it affects females, commonly during their teenage years.

The most common symptoms of bulimia are:

  • Recurrent episodes of uncontrollable bingeing 
  • Forcing self to Induce vomiting (usually in secret)
  • Abnormal eating habits 
  • Misuse of laxatives 
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Anxiety
  • Negative self body image 
  • Constant inflammation or irritation of throat 
  • Tiredness and weakness 
  • Having fear of not being able to stop binge eating
  • Dental problems 
  • Excessive exercise to compensate for the weight gain 
  • Excessive fasting episodes 
  • Depression
Bulimia Nervosa: Symptoms and treatment

Emotional and behavioural symptoms 

The primary concerns for people suffering from Bulimia Nervosa are around weight loss, dieting, and control of food and controlling eating habits. Their behaviours can include frequent trips to the washrooms just after meals,for inducing vomiting. They usually appear very uncomfortable or hesitant eating around others or going out on dinners with friends or in public.

Other symptoms include:

  • Skipping meals or having tiny portions of food during meals 
  • Disappears after eating ( to washrooms)
  • Dieting or cutting out entire food groups ( carbs, dairy)
  • Drinking excessive amounts of water 
  • Uses excessive amounts of chewing gums  
  • Wearing loose, baggy clothes  

Treatment of bulimia nervosa

Bulimia is often treated with the approach of both individual and family therapy. The main focus of treatment is given on changing the behaviour, correcting the nutritional deficiencies and symptomatic treatment.


Therapy explores the patterns of thinking, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It helps the individual to identify the root cause that leads to self –destructive actions and gradually helps to  change that thinking and behaviour.

It might be difficult, but it is important to get help and support as soon as possible. Early diagnosis gives you the best chance of easier recovery from bulimia. Your doctor might ask questions about your eating habits, your feelings, and will check your overall health and weight

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