What is bulimia nervosa?

Women with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa regularly and sometimes secretly binge on large quantities of food -- often between 2,000 and 5,000 calories at a time and, on rare occasions, even up to 20,000 calories at a time -- then experience intense feelings of guilt or shame and try to compensate by getting rid of the excess calories.

Some people purge by inducing vomiting, abusing laxatives and diuretics or taking enemas. Others fast or exercise to extremes. If you suffer from this disease, you feel out of control and recognize that your behavior is not normal, but often deny to others that you have a problem. Women struggling with bulimia can be normal weight or overweight and may experience weight fluctuations.
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent binge eating (the rapid controlled consumption of large amounts of food). Purging may occur with self-induced vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, insulin omission or reduction, fasting, severe diets, or vigorous exercise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.