Bulimia nervosa – Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Health A-Z

There are many individuals in the country who tend to consume a large quantity of food and then feel the need to purge to avoid the after-effects of overconsumption, such as gaining weight. This condition is known as bulimia nervosa and it can be a life-threatening one. Some of the ways used for purging involve inducing a vomit or taking laxatives. This condition is mainly caused due to certain psychological factors. In the following sections, a brief overview of this condition has been given. Read on to know more.

Causes and risk factors of bulimia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa tends to mainly affect adolescents. Moreover, it has been observed that females are highly susceptible to developing this condition than males. Bulimia nervosa is known to often develop as a result of an existing mental health condition. The exact cause of bulimia nervosa is unknown; however, certain factors—biological, social, or psychological—can trigger the condition in individuals. If an individual is under a lot of social pressure or is a victim of the “ideal weight” stigma, they can tend to overeat as a result of this and then use forceful alternatives to purge the food consumed. Same goes for people who are undergoing psychological stress or have a close relative suffering from an eating disorder. Bulimia nervosa can prove to be life-threatening if it’s not treated on time.

Symptoms of bulimia nervosa

  • An individual tends to consume foods in sizeable quantities and then resorts to various means of purging.
  • They might feel a pain in the chest.
  • Bad breath, dryness, or dental cavities.
  • They can experience indigestion, constipation, or an inflamed esophagus.
  • They might also suffer from depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and mood swings.
  • Women suffering from bulimia nervosa may also experience irregular or an absence of menstruation.

Treating and managing bulimia nervosa
The main ways in which one can manage and treat bulimia nervosa include taking proper medications and therapy. A brief overview of the treatment and management options has been given below.

  • There are different types of therapies such as behavior therapy, psychotherapy, cognitive and cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, etc. that can help in effectively managing the condition.
  • A doctor may also recommend certain medications to help treat certain symptoms of the condition as well.
  • An individual suffering from bulimia nervosa may also be recommended to undergo nutritional education so as to manage their consumption levels.
  • Moreover, an individual will also be asked to practice self-care tips and indulge in physical exercises that can help boost their health.