Bulimia is an eating disorder brought on by different psychological factors. Those with bulimia use a binge and purge method to control caloric intake. This involves eating an excessive amount of food (binging), followed by some sort of purging method.
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.
Bulimia is not usually an eating disorder having much to do with food or body image. More often, it has more to do with the loss of control that a person feels in life, accompanied by other emotional or psychological issues. Bulimia is much more common in Western society, and 90% of those who suffer from it are women.
Those most at risk for developing bulimia include:
- Adolescents under the age of 25
- Athletes (especially gymnasts and dancers)
- High academic achievers
- Those who have suffered abuse as a child, physically or sexually
Bulimia often occurs in cycle, with one sufferer going through a pattern of binging and purging every couple of months, while another might purge many times each day, after every meal, or only in private. Most bulimics cannot control the compulsion to binge and purge, and it takes a huge emotional toll on the sufferer.
Bulimia is a serious disorder that can destroy relationships and take lives. If you or someone you know suffers from this disorder it is vital that the sufferer discusses the condition with their health care professional.
You can find more resources at: