Bulimia Basics and Health Related Problems

Bulimia is a potentially VERY serious eating disorder, one that affects a startling number of people in the Western world. There are a lot of different factors that can cause the eating disorder, but suffice it to say that it's a problem you want to nip in the bud before it gets out of hand.

What is Bulimia?

People suffering from bulimia use a "binge and purge method" (eating large quantities of food and vomiting immediately) to control their intake of calories. By bingeing on food, they satisfy their body's demands for nutrients and calories. Then, vomiting helps to prevent those calories from actually being absorbed into the body, thereby preventing weight gain.

Purging is done to rid the body of the food and to prevent weight gain. Purging is commonly done by forcing vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, excessively exercising, or even not eating at all for a period after the binge.

The problem is that bulimia has NOTHING to do with the food itself. There are a number of factors that play a role in the eating disorder:

The truth is that bulimia is usually caused by more than one factor. Many different things combine to cause young women (90% of bulimia sufferers are women) to "binge and purge".

Those most at risk for developing bulimia include:

How Can You Tell if Someone is Bulemic?

Here are a few of the symptoms that may indicate that someone you know suffers from bulimia:

Bulimia can become serious if left untreated, but thankfully it's not a problem that requires hospitalization (unless it's accompanied by anorexia or depression). There are many options for treating bulimia, including:

Support groups. This is a chance for them to talk about whatever is causing the problem, and find help from others who are dealing with the same issues.

Medications. There are no medications to deal with the eating disorder, but there are options for treating the underlying emotional and psychological issues that are causing the problem.

Counseling. Psychologists and psychiatrists can help bulimia sufferers understand what's really behind their eating disorder, and provide them with the tools to lead a healthy life.

The sad truth is that bulimia is not an easy illness to overcome. There's no "quick fix" for the eating disorder. It's going to take years of battling body issues, emotional problems, psychological issues, and even major health problems (as a result of regular vomiting and limited calorie intake). However, you CAN put the problem behind you and return to a normal, healthy life!



You can find more resources at:

Bulimia Guide


Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center


24 Hour Bulimia Hotline



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