Bulimia News

Bulimia nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder. The features that distinguish bulimia from other eating disorders are the tendency of the person with bulimia to eat large amounts of food at one time, typically called bingeing, and then to almost immediately afterward vomit it back up or take laxatives to speed up a bowel movement. This process is called purging.

Like those with anorexia or other types of eating disorders, people with bulimia often are unhappy with their body shape and size, desperately want to lose weight and are very fearful of gaining weight. People with bulimia may be dangerously thin like those with anorexia, but there are also people of a normal weight who have bulimia. The condition is far more common among women than men, but it affects various economic levels and ethnicities.


When a person becomes bulimic, there are usually a number of factors that lead to this development. Oftentimes, the person with bulimia has other related disorders, such as anxiety or depression. There’s no question that society itself, and the constant pressure to be thin and beautiful, can certainly play a role in bulimia. Family issues, either environmental or genetic, seem to be a factor as well, and stressful life events might also lead a person to become bulimic.

Treatment of Bulimia

Over time, bulimia can do very serious damage to the body. The constant bingeing and purging can lead to severe problems in the gastrointestinal tract, and the malnutrition that often results from bulimia causes problems elsewhere in the body, including the skin, the blood and even the heart and brain. However, treatment is available for bulimia, and it is often successful. Typically therapy, counseling and sound nutritional advice are critical components of treatment for someone with bulimia. In some cases, medication is needed to treat the problems that bulimia has created in the body, as well as any related medical issues such as anxiety or depression.

SOURCES: National Alliance on Mental Illness; U.S. Office on Women's Health

Date Posted
Article Title
That Store Mannequin May Be Anorexic

British study finds measurements of most are similar to 'extremely underweight' women

Keep an Eye Out for Eating Disorders in Loved Ones

If you suspect someone has a problem, be careful not to shame or criticize, eating disorder expert says

Eating Disorders Rampant on the Runway

Over half of models surveyed said they'd been asked to lose weight or change their body shape

Study Explores Electrical Brain Stimulation to Treat Bulimia

Though preliminary, it found symptoms of eating disorder lessened in first 24 hours after treatment

Many Women With Eating Disorders Do Recover, Study Finds

But it may take years or longer, researchers acknowledge

Eating Disorders Seem More Common in Schools Where Girls Predominate

And schools with kids from more educated parents also had higher rates, study found

Study Confirms Eating Disorders' Deadly Toll

Those with anorexia 5 times more at risk of early death; bulimia also increases the risk, researchers say

Bullies May Face Higher Odds of Eating Disorders: Study

Risk of anorexia or bulimia significantly higher than for kids not involved in bullying

Parents Should Be Involved in Teen's Bulimia Treatment: Study

Recovery is faster when family is part of therapy, researchers find

Men With Eating Disorders Often Ignore Symptoms

British study finds that too many males associate anorexia, bulimia as only a woman's issue

Magnetic Brain Stimulation Shows Promise Against Eating Disorders

Small study found almost half of those with anorexia, bulimia had symptom relief

Bodybuilding Boys Often Try Drugs and Alcohol, Study Finds

Preoccupation with body image can lead to risky behaviors, researcher says

For Obese Kids, Weight Loss Can Sometimes Lead to Eating Disorders

Problems like anorexia may go undiagnosed or be disregarded, case studies show

1 in 3 Young Americans Has Suffered Dating Violence: Survey

Problem isn't getting better, expert warns

Eating Disorders Hitting Women Over 50, Study Finds

Researcher says new treatment strategies needed to target this older population

Life Transitions May Trigger Eating Disorders

People with anorexia, bulimia pinpoint break-ups, the death of loved ones as triggers

Hormone Linked to Absence of Periods in Women With Low Body Fat

Lack of leptin contributes to condition, but a synthetic hormone may help, study suggests

Eating Disorders More Prevalent Than Thought Among American Teens

Related social impairment, suicidal thoughts make this a major public health concern, researchers say

Self-Drawings May Reveal Hidden Eating Disorders

Women with anorexia or bulimia tend to sketch their body features differently, researchers say

Study Refutes Myth That Eating Disorders Affect Whites Only

Binge, purge behavior found in more Native American women than men, researchers say

Many With Serious Eating Disorders Could Go Undiagnosed

Too-rigid guidelines miss urgent cases of anorexia, bulimia, researchers say

Using Cell Phones, Internet to Battle Eating Disorders

Online and text messages might be more helpful than therapy for some, researchers suggest

Teens With Eating Disorders Benefit From Parents' Help

Research shows that recovery improves with family involvement

The Dark Side of Vegetarianism

For some teens and young adults, it may be concealing eating disorders

Brains of Bulimia Patients Wired Differently

Study found regions related to impulse control were less active

Risk Factors for Eating Disorders Vary by Gender

Rejecting media images, resilience to negative comments should be focus of prevention

Disordered Eating Is Widespread Among U.S. Women

75% say they behave abnormally around food, survey finds

'Diabulimia' Triples Risk of Death Among Women With Diabetes

Restricting insulin doses to lose weight increases chances of complications, study finds

Having Twin Sister Boosts Men's Anorexia Risk

Shared fetal environment may be to blame, researchers say

Teen Boys at Growing Risk for Eating Disorders

Decade of data shows increase in weight-control behaviors across cultures

Eating Disorders Often Overlooked in Boys

They don't share the warning signs of young girls, studies find

Binge Eating Tops Other Eating Disorders: Survey

The compulsive behavior is widespread and helps drive obesity epidemic, experts say

Media Might Fuel Eating Disorders

Study found teens who read weight-loss articles more likely to practice unhealthy behaviors

Online Program Targets Eating Disorders in College Women

Innovative intervention called 'Student Bodies' promotes healthy eating, enhanced self-imaging

Fetal Complications Raise Risk of Eating Disorders

Study found the more complications, the higher the later risk of anorexia and bulimia

Family Dinners Lower Risk For Eating Disorders

Girls, especially, benefit from regular family mealtimes

Keeping Female High School Athletes on Track

Program targets eating disorders, body-shaping drug use

Dentists Can Detect Eating Disorders

Changes in mouth can signal possible problems, experts say

Anorexics Thinner Than a Decade Ago

Researchers say health-care system may be to blame

Eating Disorders Not Always Obvious

Parents should learn to recognize early warning signs

An Anorexic's Story

The life, and death, of a teenager who couldn't stop dieting

Unattainable Goals Can Be Unhealthy

Perfectionism puts adolescent girls at greater risk of eating disorders later in life

Bone Disease Diagnosis From Where You'd Least Expect It

Dentists can detect signs of osteoporosis and bulimia

Anorexia May Be Hereditary

Study hones in on genes for eating disorder

Chowing Down Under the Cover of Darkness

Study links binge eating to dim lighting

Heartburn Drug May Ease Eating Disorder Complication

Proton-pump inhibitor helps restore metabolism balance