Understanding Eating Disorders Part 2
As we continue to bring awareness to the different types of eating disorders, we will focus the second part of this four part blog series on Bulimia Nervosa. Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by both binge-eating episodes as well as recurrent inappropriate behaviors to prevent weight gain. The most recognized of these behaviors is self-induced vomiting, however, the misuse of laxatives or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise also fall under this category. The binge-eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors must both occur, on average, at least once a week for three months for bulimia to be considered as a diagnosis. The DSM-V also classifies the level of severity from mild to extreme depending on the frequency of inappropriate compensatory behaviors as well as the degree of functional disability.
The National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (www.anad.org) lists seven symptoms associated with bulimia:
- Preoccupation with food
- Binge eating, usually in secret
- Vomiting after bingeing
- Abuse of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills
- Denial of hunger or drugs to induce vomiting
- Compulsive exercise
- Swollen salivary glands
- Broken blood vessels in the eyes
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.
National Alliance for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (2015). Retrieved from: www.aand.org
Maggie Futch, Intern