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Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by recurrent cycles of binge eating immediately followed by self-induced compensatory behaviours such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use, fasting or excessive exercise. Unlike anorexia, where significant weight loss occurs due to starvation, bulimia involves consuming large amounts of food during binge eating episodes followed by purging. These are the main bulimia symptoms seen in patients diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa. Both eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia, are marked by low self-esteem, secretive food related behaviours and a relentless preoccupation with weight.


The binge-purge cycle often starts sporadically but can escalate over time, becoming more frequent and difficult to control.

Bulimia is an eating disorder which has many physical and emotional consequences. Physically, bulimia can lead to chest pain, headaches, constipation, tooth decay, and acid reflux, while emotionally, it can result in depression, anxiety, mood swings, low self-esteem, and self-harm.

 

Recovery from Bulimia is possible with the right support from a professional specialising in bulimia recovery. These professionals utilise treatments which are very similar to the treatments of anorexia nervosa which include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Family-Based Therapy (FBT) and RAVES. These bulimia treatments work best within a multidisciplinary approach, where psychologists, dietitians, and general practitioners collaborate, optimising treatment outcomes for this eating disorder.

 

Based on my clinical observations, individuals with Bulimia nervosa exhibit a strong desire for recovery driven by distress over the disorder’s negative physical and emotional consequences. Effective management involves ensuring adequate daily food intake to address binge urges and challenging the belief that compensation is necessary. Recovery from eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia is attainable, and I encourage those struggling with them to persist in seeking help and support.

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