Bulimia Nervosa

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

People experiencing bulimia go on regular eating “binges.” These binges involve consuming large amounts of food in relatively short periods of time. The binge eating is usually followed by feelings of guilt and anxiety about becoming fat, resulting in the desire and need to get rid of the food.

It is common for people with bulimia to get rid of the food through throwing up, taking laxatives or diet pills, exercising excessively, or not eating to “make up” for the binge.

The reasons that people experience bulimia may differ from person to person and the options for treatment may also differ depending on the situation andperson. Your doctor should be able to talk with you about what options are available and which may be best for you. If necessary your doctor can also referyou to a mental health professional and a nutritionist. These professionals will talk with you about your food and weight beliefs and behaviors. They may also explore the reasons why you may have developed these beliefs and behaviors. This can be done in a group situation or in a one on one situation. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor or therapist as to which is the best option for you.

For more information check out the National Eating Disorders Association and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at, a website that helps teens get through tough times.  

Special Thanks:
CAPT Donnie Lee, MD, Indian Health Service
Portland Area Diabetes Consultant Acting Director Office of Clinical Support

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