A habitual disturbance in eating behavior mostly affecting young women of normal weight, characterized by frequent episodes of grossly excessive food intake followed by self-induced vomiting to avert weight gain.


Overeating, compulsive exercising, evidence of discarded packages for laxatives, diet pills, emetics, or diuretics, regularly going to the bathroom right after meals, and suddenly large amounts of food.


Risk factors for the disorder involve a pattern of excessive dieting in an attempt to weigh less, a history of depression or alcoholism, low self-esteem, obese parents or siblings, and a history of anorexia nervosa. Up to 5% of college women have bulimia.


Bulimics and anorexics rarely cure themselves and the longer the behavior continues, the more difficult it is to help the individual change. The most effective treatment involves a team approach consisting of medical evaluation, individual and/or group psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, anti-depressant medication, and possible hospitalization.


Laurie a 9th grader, loved parties especially when she discovered her own answer to weight control. After gulping down several doughnuts and cupcakes and an entire bag of chips she slipped into the bathroom and made herself throw up! It was the ideal compromise between her inability to control her eating and her desire to lose weight.
But after several months of bingeing followed by self induced vomiting, Laurie's throat hurt constantly and her dentist urged her to brush more thoroughly because her teeth were in poor condition. Worse, she could neither stop her binges nor keep her food in her stomach after a normal meal.
When she developed a serious ulcer, she finally admitted her binge-purge routine to her doctor. He diagnosed bulimia nervosa and sent Laurie to a psychiatrist, who created a treatment plan that would help her return to healthful, normal eating habits.


- thinkquest.com
- go.galegroup.com
- teenhealthandwellness.com

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