At Breathe we are here to listen, support and help you overcome the difficulties you may be facing. You are not alone!

Bulimia Nervosa and its Treatment

Bulimia describes an illness which contains a range of very specific behaviours. Typically are regular episodes of “Binge” Eating, usually in private, of foods believed to be fattening and therefore in some way “forbidden” to someone conscious of needing to control their weight. Foods typically eaten during a binge will include biscuits, chocolate, crisps, bowls of cereal, large amounts of toast with butter, chips, cakes, tubs of ice cream, etc. Eating continues until the urge to eat is gone, tension is reduced, physical satiation is reached (often to the point of pain), or the person is interrupted.

Sometimes the food is enjoyed, but it is more likely to be eaten quickly and without tasting, and the definition requires that this kind of eating will be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, guilt and remorse. Following a binge, but not always immediately afterwards, there will be an attempt to get rid of the calories absorbed by making oneself sick, and/or by taking laxatives. Some bulimics try to contain their weight by indulging in excessive exercise and additionally by starving for periods of time.

Physical Effects Of Bulimia

In its most severe form, the sufferer eats vast amounts of food sometimes resulting in physical damage – rupture of the stomach for example – followed by self-induced vomiting to the point of causing life threatening chemical imbalance. The cycles of bingeing and purging can occur up to twelve times each day.

Overall, Bulimia can be said to exist when several but not necessarily all of these symptoms exist TOGETHER – i.e.

Episodes of overeating, accompanied by guilt and self-hatred, secrecy, excessive fear of gaining weight

Over concern with body size, failure to eat in a systematic way and removal of calories by purging

Like all eating disorders, it is very important to get bulimia help at the earliest possible opportunity.

See Anorexia Nervosa