What is Bulimia Nervosa? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

Some people have a life-threatening eating disorder. Today, we’ll discuss what is bulimia nervosa; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Bulimia Nervosa? 

Bulimia nervosa is a life-threatening and very serious eating disorder, and it also goes by the name of bulimia. People with this condition have secret binge episodes of eating a large amount of food at once without having control over it and then using unhealthy methods to remove the extra fats and calories.

In order to avoid weight gaining and remove extra calories, people with bulimia use various techniques. For instance, they employ enemas or diuretics after binging, weight-losing drugs, misusing laxatives, and self-induced vomiting. You can other techniques to avoid weight gain or remove extra calories like exercising excessively, strict dieting, and fasting.

People with bulimia are preoccupied with the thoughts of body shape and weight gain. They harshly and severely judge themselves with their self-perceived flaws. However, it’s difficult to deal with bulimia conditions both in terms of food and self-image.

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa 

The symptoms of bulimia are different among different people. Some of the main physical symptoms of bulimia are as follows;

  • Brittle and dry nails, and dry skin
  • Sleeping problems
  • Cold feelings all the time
  • Fainting and dizziness
  • Losing/gaining weight often; your body has a normal weight and it makes you feel that you’ve overweight
  • Making yourself vomit by calluses back of your hands or your knuckles
  • Bloodshot eyes, exhaustion, or weaknesses
  • Having periods irregularly
  • Bloating, indigestion, or heartburn
  • Swollen glands in your face or neck
  • Sore throat
  • Dental Problems

Some of the behavioral symptoms of bulimia nervosa are as follows;

  • Losing interest in activities and friends that you used to cherish or enjoy
  • Using mouthwash, gum, or mint often
  • Intake of calorie-free beverages or a large amount of water
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Thoughts about body shape, weight, or image occupy your mind all the time; and they change the way you feel about things
  • Exercising excessively
  • Frequently going to the bathroom after the meal
  • Using medicines, enemas, diuretics, abusive laxatives, or vomiting in order to lose weight
  • Out of control feelings
  • Eating a limited amount of food or skipping the meal
  • Following certain types of food rituals like not permitting to touch the food, chewing more than necessary, and eating only a particular type of food
  • Stealing or hoarding food
  • Uncontrollable eating with purging, if it happens twice a week for three months, then you would have bulimia according to NIMH

If any of your family members are showing more interest in food and having an unhealthy focus on size or weight, then you should refer them to the doctor. If you treat bulimia in the early stages, it amplifies the chances of recovery and treatment.

Causes of Bulimia Nervosa 

Researchers don’t know the exact cause of bulimia condition. But they do believe that a combination of various factors like environmental, biological, behavior, thinking, emotions, and personality traits play their part in developing this condition.

Researchers say that the eating disorder condition starts with dissatisfaction and a high level of concerns about your body shape and size. Usually, they would have a fear of becoming overweight and lower self-esteem levels. bulimia could be interesting and it runs in the family. Some of the other risk factors that may cause it are as follows;

  • Dieting frequently
  • Stress
  • Traumatic events
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Anxiety disorder and depression
  • Being a woman

Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa 

Your doctor would conduct a thorough physical and psychological examination for the treatment of bulimia. The treatment plan comprises medication and therapy.


I-Interpersonal Psychotherapy:

The goal of IPT is to focus on the problem of building relationships with other people in the patient’s life. It teaches you how you interact with others and impact your mental and emotional state of mind.

II-Family-based Treatment

FBT is a very common and preferred form of treatment method for teens and children with bulimia condition. It assists and guides the family members to deal with the illness and the issues it’s causing.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you normal eating habits, and careful about the behavior that would point you toward purging and bingeing. It allows you to challenge unhealthy eating behavior and irrational thoughts as they arise.



Your doctor would prescribe FDA approved drug antidepressant fluoxetine to treat bulimia. There are some other types of antidepressants that your doctor would prescribe depending on the severity of the symptoms.


It’s the condition of bulimia is severe and serious, and medicines aren’t working, then your doctor would recommend hospitalization for a short time. Many eating disorder programs provide outpatient treatment plans.


Some of the self-care steps that you can take for yourself are as follows;

  • Avoid Triggering Factors: body images on social media, avoiding the body scale mirror,
  • Connecting with others: getting the support of friends and family members
  • Look After Yourself: eating healthy food and living a healthy lifestyle

Conclusion: What is Builima Nervosa? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is bulimia nervosa; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that bulimia would badly impact your physical and emotional health. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should consult with the doctor ASAP.