bulimia nervosa

bulimia nervosa

or  bulimia 

      eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by inappropriate attempts to compensate for the binge, such as self-induced vomiting or the excessive use of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. In other cases, the binge eating is followed by excessive exercise or fasting. The episodes of binge eating and purging typically occur an average of twice a week or more over a period of at least three months, and repetition of the cycle can lead to serious medical complications such as dental decay or dehydration.

      Bulimia nervosa is one of two major types of eating disorders. The other is anorexia nervosa, which is characterized by extreme dieting and emaciation. Individuals with bulimia nervosa, in contrast to anorexia nervosa, generally maintain a body weight near normal for their age, height, and sex. At least 90 percent of the people diagnosed with bulimia nervosa are women. An estimated 1 to 3 percent of women in the United States suffer from bulimia nervosa at some time in their life.

      Cases of binge eating followed by purging can be found in historical records, but bulimia nervosa was not officially recognized as a disorder until 1980. The recognition of the diagnosis was due in large part to a dramatic increase in cases in the 1970s and '80s. Experts generally attribute the increase to the intense focus in the popular media on thinness as an ideal for young women. This ideal is most prevalent in affluent industrialized countries, and it is in these countries that bulimia is most common.

      Bulimia nervosa usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Some of the factors that appear to contribute to the development of the disorder are chronic fasting, a lack of awareness of internal feelings (including hunger and emotions), a self-image that is unduly influenced by weight and body shape, and a tendency toward self-judgment based on external standards rather than internal evaluations. Other emotional disorders, particularly depression, often coexist with bulimia nervosa, but it is not clear whether these disorders help cause bulimia or result from it.

      Cognitive behaviour therapy is the most widely researched and apparently the most effective treatment for bulimia nervosa. Treatment with cognitive behaviour therapy involves nutritional education, normalization of eating patterns, and addressing dysfunctional thought processes such as perfectionist thinking, especially concerning appearance or diet. Also useful in treating bulimia nervosa are antidepressant medications and interpersonal psychotherapy, a psychological technique that focuses on changing the way in which the patient relates to other people. These two alternatives, however, are generally considered to be secondary treatments, because the benefits of antidepressant medications often last only as long as the medication continues to be taken, and interpersonal therapy produces beneficial results more slowly than cognitive behaviour therapy.

Robert E. Emery

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bulimia nervosa — Classification and external resources ICD 10 F50.2 ICD 9 307.51 …   Wikipedia

  • bulimia nervosa — bulimia ner·vo·sa (.)nər vō sə, zə n BULIMIA (2) * * * [DSM IV] an eating disorder occurring predominantly in females, with onset usually in adolescence or early adulthood and characterized by episodic binge eating followed by behaviors designed… …   Medical dictionary

  • bulimia nervosa — Bulimia Bu*lim i*a (b[u^]*l[i^]m [i^]*[.a]), Bulimy Bu li*my, n. [NL. bulimia, fr. Gr. boylimi a, lit., ox hunger; boy^s ox + limo s hunger: cf. F. boulimie.] 1. (Med.) A disease in which there is a perpetual and insatiable appetite for food; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bulimia nervosa — /nər vōˈsə or zə/ noun A pathological condition, an eating disorder in which binge eating is followed by depression and guilt, self induced vomiting and purging, etc • • • Main Entry: ↑bulimia …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bulimia nervosa — Klassifikation nach ICD 10 F50.2 Bulimia nervosa F50.3 atypische Bulimia nervosa F50.4 psychogene Essattacken …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bulimia nervosa — Ess Brech Sucht; Bulimie * * * I Bulimia nervosa,   in der medizinischen Fachsprache Bezeichnung für die Ess Brech Sucht (Bulimie). II Bulimia nervosa   ( …   Universal-Lexikon

  • bulimia nervosa — noun see bulimia …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bulimia nervosa — noun An eating disorder characterized by a binge and purge cycle extreme overeating followed by self induced vomiting …   Wiktionary

  • bulimia nervosa — type of eating disorder in which one compulsively overeats (most common among teenage girls) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Bulimia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Bulimia Clasificación y recursos externos Aviso médico CIE 10 F 50.2 …   Wikipedia Español

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