Defining Bulimia

Defining Bulimia

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is a psychological illness characterized by the sufferer binging and then purging themselves of food. It is often related to both anorexia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

However, the sufferer may not always have a morbid fear of weight gain and there are those who purge without binging, a condition that has been identified (but not officially diagnosed) recently as purging disorder.

There are many methods of purging, although self-induced vomiting is the most common. Other methods include laxative and diuretic abuse, over-exercise and periods of starvation, as a means of compensating for calories consumed.

Eating disorders, particularly anorexia and bulimia, usually affect females, but the number of male anorectics is on the increase. Somebody can develop anorexia at any age, in any place and in any situation.

According to A.N.R.E.D., approximately 4% of college-aged women in the United States are bulimic. However, Rader Programs puts this figure much higher at 19%. The reality may lay somewhere in between.

Approximately 5.1% of women in college in the United States suffer from bulimia.

Approximately 80% of bulimia nervosa patients are female (N.E.D.A.).