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What is Bulimia or Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating followed by behaviors aimed at compensating for the overeating. These compensatory behaviors can include self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or excessive exercise, etc.

Key features of bulimia nervosa include a sense of loss of control during binge eating episodes, feelings of guilt, shame, or distress afterward, and a preoccupation with body shape and weight. Unlike anorexia nervosa, individuals with bulimia nervosa often maintain a relatively normal weight, although they may experience fluctuations.

Bulimia nervosa can lead to serious health complications such as electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, gastrointestinal problems, and dental issues due to frequent vomiting. Like anorexia nervosa, it often coexists with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorders.

Treatment for bulimia nervosa typically involves a combination of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), mindful self- compassion, Internal Family Systems (IFS) and nutritional counseling, and sometimes medication to address underlying psychological issues and stabilize mood. Family involvement and support from healthcare professionals are also important components of treatment to help individuals recover and develop healthier relationships with food and compassionate attitudes toward their bodies.

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