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bulimia nervosa
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  • 1. Bulimia Nervosa
    By: Kathryn Johnston
  • 2. Background
    Bulimia nervosa is more common than anorexia, and it usually begins early in adolescence. It is characterized by cycles of bingeing and purging
    Bulimia is often triggered when young women attempt restrictive diets, fail, and react by binge eating.
    In response to the binges, patients compensate, usually by purging, vomiting, or taking laxatives, diet pills, or drugs to reduce fluids.
    Patients then revert both to severe dieting and excessive exercise.
    The cycle then swings back to bingeing and then to purging again.
  • 3. Risk Factors
    Ethnic Factors
    Personality Disorders
  • 4. Causes
    There is no single cause for the eating disorder. bulimia. Although concerns about weight and body shape play a role in all eating disorders, the actual cause of these disorders appear to result from many factors, including cultural and family pressures and emotional and personality disorders. Genetics and biologic factors may also play a role.
  • 5. Complications
    Many medical problems are directly associated with bulimic behavior, including:
    Tooth erosion Fluid loss
    Cavities Swallowing problems
    Gum problems Esophagus damage
    Water retention Irregular periods
    Abdominal bloating
  • 6. Symptoms
    Possibly the most bewildering symptom of eating disorders is the distorted body image. People with bulimia were more likely than those with anorexia to overestimate their size. There were also a greater disparity between what they wanted to look like and what they believed they looked like.
  • 7. Regularly going to the bathroom right after meals
    Suddenly eating large amounts of food or buying large quantities that disappear right away
    Compulsive exercising
    Broken blood vessels in the eyes
    Pouch-like appearance to the corners of the mouth due to swollen salivary glands
    Small cuts and calluses across the tops of finger joints due to self-induced vomiting
    Dry Mouth
  • 8. Diagnosing Bulimia
    Younger and female doctors are more likely to detect bulimia. A doctor should make a diagnosis of bulimia if there are at least two bulimic episodes per week for 3 months. Because people with bulimia tend to have complications with their teeth and gums, dentists could play a crucial role in identifying and diagnosing bulimia as well.
  • 9. Treatment
    Some experts recommend a stepped approach for patients with bulimia, which follow specific stages depending on the severity and response to initial treatments:
    Support groups: This is the least expensive approach and may be helpful for patients who have mild conditions with no health consequences.
    Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Along with nutritional therapy is the preferred first treatment for bulimia that does not respond to support groups.
    Drugs: Drugs used for bulimia are typically antidepressants known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors
  • 10. Patients with bulimia rarely need hospitalization except under the following circumstances:
    Binge-purge cycles have led to anorexia
    Drugs are needed for withdrawal from purging
    Major depression is present
  • 11. Therapy
    Eating disorders are nearly always treated with some form of psychiatric or psychological treatment. Depending on the problem, different psychological approaches may work better than others.
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    Interpersonal Therapy
    Family Therapy