Bulimia nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa: Definition, Causes, 6 Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Health Risks

Dissatisfied with the body shape, sometimes causes a person to have an eating disorder. One of the eating disorders you may have heard of being bulimia nervosa.

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia or bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a tendency to regurgitate the food it has eaten. Bulimia is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening mental disorder.

Bulimia can be experienced by anyone, especially older persons and adolescent women, who are dissatisfied with their weight or body shape. People with bulimia tend to do unhealthy ways to lose weight, namely by forcibly removing food, either by spewing it or using laxatives.

Force spewing food is the wrong thing to do. To keep your weight and body shape ideal, you are recommended to implement a healthy diet, namely by eating foods with balanced nutrition, eating small but frequent portions, as well as limiting snacks and high intake of saturated fats.

Bulimia Nervosa Causes

The cause of bulimia nervosa is not known for certain. However, health experts reveal that the causes of this eating disorder are related to genetics, emotional health, public expectations, and other problems.

Bulimia Nervosa Risk Factors

Quite a lot of factors can make a person experience bulimia. These factors include:

  • Female. According to research, bulimia is more common in women than men.
  • Psychiatric related problems, such as feeling inferior, depressed, stressed, wanting to always appear perfect (perfectionism), experiencing post trauma stress disorder (PTSD), as well as obsessive conclusive disorder (OCD).
  • Age, bulimia more common in adolescents to older persons.
  • Hereditary factors, if one of the core family members has bulimia, then a person is at higher risk of developing the same disorder.
  • Social demands, such as teenagers who feel they have to lose weight because they are affected by their friends.
  • Professional demands, for example models that must be slim or athletes who have to maintain a tight weight.

Symptoms of patients with bulimia nervosa

Based on the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which provides guidance for the American Psychiatrist Association, some of the criteria for bulimia disorders are:

  • Body shape and weight that affects the self-view
  • The occurrence of consuming large amounts of food quickly and uncontrolled (binge eating). Individuals who consumed food more than normal conditions and within two hours, followed by a feeling of loss of control.
  • The existence of compensation behaviors that are not appropriate to avoid continuous weight gain. For example, spewing food, exercising excessively, using laxatives, fasting excessively, and so on.
  • Does not appear specifically with the incidence of anorexia nervosa
  • The applied eating behavior appears at least once a week in a three-month period.

Other visible signs are:

  • Pay too much attention or worry about shape and weight
  • Living in fear of gaining weight
  • Have a negative body image
  • Eating an unusual amount of food in one meal, especially one that usually becomes the abstinence of many people
  • Don’t want to eat in front of others
  • Go to the bathroom after meals, in between meals, or to the bathroom for a long period of time.
  • Have damaged teeth and gums, as a result of frequent exposure to vomiting fluid.

Bulimia Nervosa Health Risks

Bulimia nervosa that is left unchecked and not getting treatment has the potential to trigger serious health problems. Some of the risks of health complications that may be experienced by people with bulimia, including:

  • Renal failure
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum damage
  • Extreme dehydration
  • Heart disorders
  • The body is deficient in nutrients
  • Digestive problems or constipation
  • Electrolyte imbalance in the body.

In addition to physical problems, the condition can also trigger mental health disorders. A number of mental health disorders that can occur due to bulimia include depression, anxiety, excessive alco**hol consumption, to the use of illegal drugs.

Read also:
How To Cure Bulimia


Last Updated on February 18, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team


Sharing is caring!