It is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of "binge eating" in which the patient eats a short time large amount of food as if very hungry. The patient loses control of himself and then tries to vomit and / or evacuate what they ate, through devices such as medication, in order to not gain weight.

There is a popular tendency to think that bulimia is the opposite of anorexia. In fact the opposite of anorexia patient would feel that is too thin and needs to gain weight, is gaining weight, becoming obese and continues to try to thin and continues eating. That would be the opposite of anorexia, but this psychiatric condition does not exist. In bulimia patients do not want to gain weight, but can not contain the impulse to eat for more than a few days.

The patient with bulimia typically is not obese because they use resources extremes to eliminate excess ingested. As the world psychiatric community does not recognize the binge as a condition to the party will be obliged to admit that there are two types of patients with bulimia, those who try to eliminate excess ingested by vomiting or laxatives and bulimic patients who do not do that and end up gaining weight, this second type might be in another eating disorder, the Binge. Patients with bulimia usually have 2-3 episodes per week, which does not mean that the rest of the time is right. Actually these episodes just are not daily or even once a day because the patient is constantly struggling against them.


As in anorexia, bulimia nervosa is a multifactorial syndrome by a mixture of biological, psychological, familial and cultural factors. The emphasis on culture in physical appearance can have an important role. Family problems, low self-esteem and identity conflicts are also factors involved in triggering this condition.

How does it develop?

Often, it takes time to realize that someone has bulimia nervosa. The main feature is the episode of binge eating, accompanied by a feeling of lack of control over the act and sometimes done in secret. Behaviours directed at weight control including fasting, self induced vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics, and strenuous exercise. The diagnosis of bulimia nervosa requires episodes with a minimum frequency of twice a week for at least three months. The phobia of fatness motivator is the feeling of the whole picture. These episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory methods, the family can remain hidden for long.

Bulimia nervosa strikes teenagers a little older, around 17 years. People with bulimia are ashamed of their symptoms, so avoid eating in public and avoid places like beaches and pools where they need to show the body. As the disease progresses, these people are only interested in issues related to food, weight and body shape.

How is it treatable?

The multidisciplinary approach is most suitable for the treatment of bulimia nervosa, and includes individual psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and nutritional approach at outpatient clinics.

Antidepressant medications also have proven effective in controlling bulimic episodes.

The nutritional approach is to establish healthier eating habits, eliminating the cycle of "binge eating / purging / fasting."

The orientation family therapy it is necessary because the family plays a very important role in patient recovery.


  1. Is the number of women experiencing bulimic symptoms greater than men? Thanks.

  2. Dear John

    You are right, there is more incidence of bulimic cases in women, however men can also suffer from the same condition