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Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa, also known as bulimia, is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. To be diagnosed with bulimia, an individual must have episodes of binging and/or purging.

Binging is defined as the consumption of an abnormally large amount of food in one sitting. A more precise definition of binging can be found on the Compulsive Overeating page.

Purging is the act of ridding the body of food in an unnatural way. It is often done to reduce feelings of fullness or bloating. Examples of purging include vomiting or the use of laxatives.

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa

The following symptoms can be signs of Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Do you go through cycles of binging and purging? Do you only purge? Do you lose control of how much you eat?
  • Are you scared of gaining weight? Does your self-esteem seem to depend on your body shape and weight?
  • Are you dissatisfied with the way you look, even if others compliment you?
  • Do you feel ashamed about overeating?
  • Are you fearful that others might discover your unhealthy habits?

Individuals suffering from bulimia judge themselves harshly for their self-perceived body flaws.

Bulimia nervosa is a serious disorder. The 'binge and purge' cycle can lead to severe, long-term health problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, bone thinning, kidney damage, and heart problems.

Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa

People suffering from bulimia usually need a combination of different treatments. Dr. Spector applies in-depth psychotherapy to get to the psychological causes of the disorder. She cooperates with physicians or psychiatrists when a medication referral is necessary.