Bulimia Nervosa


Bulimia nervosa is also known as an eating disorder which entails binge eating and eventually rids the calories in the body to avoid weight gain. Bulimia nervosa is also officially recognized in the Diagnosticas a psychiatric disorder. People who are suffering from bulimia have a distorted body image and fears weight gain. A person who has bulimia nervosa if left untreated can face potentially fatal health consequences.  A person who has bulimia has an unreasonably large amount of food intake even in just a small time. This binge eating is then followed by purging the body of calories. Purging is oftentimes done by self-induced vomiting. Others do it with the use of enema, laxative or diuretic abuse. Others don’t purge, instead, they use post-binge fasting and extreme exercises to burn off calories in the body which can really lead to a serious injury.

Treatments for Bulimia Nervosa

The treatment for Bulimia Nervosa varies. It depends on the degree of physical hurt the bulimic behavior has resulted to and if an individual becomes a danger to him or herself already. Hospital Inpatient Care may be needed to be able to right severe electrolyte imbalances that normally result from laxative abuse and repeated vomiting. Heart irregularities and other fatal complications are caused by electrolyte imbalances. Hospitalization rate is lower compared to people suffering from anorexia nervosa since people with bulimia or bulimics often maintain a normal weight. Another way of treating bulimia nervosa is by Day Treatment or partial hospitalization. This is where the patients go to an extensive treatment everyday where nutrition education, intensive therapy, supervision, medical monitoring and mealtimes are provided. In case this type of treatment fail, the patient is then hospitalized or entered to a full-time residential treatment facility. Drug therapy is another treatment for bulimia.  Drugs that have selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat bulimia. These increase serotonin levels in the brain and is known to affect the body’s sense of fullness. These are uses even when a patient shows signs of depression or none at all. It is essential for drug therapy to always be supplemented with psychotherapy. As of today, other drugs are also being explored for use in treating bulimia.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa

Cognitive behavioral therapy or small-term interpersonal therapy together with drug therapy and nutritional counselling are what most bulimics go through as part of their treatment for bulimia. There are a number of bulimics that show improvement in controlling their behavior after undergoing the said therapy. In a span of three years, there are only about one-third of bulimics that are doing well. Bulimic behaviors and binge episodes often come and go for many years and relapses nearly often as always are common. Stress is the major culprit in triggering relapses. The sooner the treatment, the higher the chances are for recovery.

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