Bulimia Nervosa (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your risk for developing bulimia increases if your parent, sister, or brother has the condition. But family history may be only part of the cause.
Stressful life events such as moving, divorce, or the death of a loved one can trigger bulimia in some people.
Many young women, such as those in college or high school, have unhealthy attitudes toward eating and toward their bodies. Socially, they may accept and encourage destructive behaviors like extreme dieting or binging and purging. These beliefs and behaviors are not normal or healthy. They can play a part in developing eating disorders that need treatment. Women who begin to severely restrict their diets in order to lose weight are at risk for bulimia.
Bulimia, like all eating disorders, is a complex physical and psychological condition. Recovery requires treatment that helps you change your behavior and also deals with the deeper attitudes and feelings that cause you to binge and purge.
Symptoms of bulimia include:
Any of the above symptoms can be a sign of bulimia or another eating disorder that needs treatment. If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, talk to a doctor, friend, or family member about your concerns right away.
Bulimia and other eating disorders can be hard to diagnose, because people often keep unhealthy thoughts and behaviors secret and may deny that they have a problem. Often a person won't get evaluation and treatment until someone else notices the signs of bulimia and encourages the person to seek the help that he or she needs.
Other signs that a person may have bulimia
Common signs that a person may have bulimia are when the person:
Conditions that commonly occur with bulimia, such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders, can make treatment of bulimia harder. Recovery from bulimia can take a long time. And relapse is common. If the person feels extremely discouraged, be sure to tell the doctor immediately so that the person can get immediate help.
In some cases, people who have an eating disorder may feel suicidal.
If you or someone you know shows warning signs of suicide, seek help immediately.
Bulimia is different from anorexia. People with anorexia weigh 85% or less of their normal body weight. But most people with bulimia are in their normal weight range. Some people who have anorexia make themselves vomit, but this is a different eating disorder. For more information, see the topic Anorexia Nervosa.
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