woman looking at the mirror

Five Things You Need to Know About Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a severe and life-threatening eating disorder. It’s estimated that about 1.5% of the population in the United States have it, with more women being susceptible to the disease than men. Here’s what you need to know about Bulimia nervosa.

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is a type of eating disorder. People with bulimia nervosa fear gaining weight and often see themselves as overweight, even when they are not. This leads them to engage in behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, purging (taking laxatives or diuretics), over-exercising, and fasting.

What Causes Bulimia Nervosa?

The cause of bulimia nervosa is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some research suggests that people with bulimia nervosa may have a higher than average level of the hormone serotonin, which is involved in regulating mood and appetite. There may also be a link between bulimia nervosa and anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse.

People who have this kind of disorder often have a distorted body image. It can be caused by constant bullying, teasing, or adverse comments about their weight or appearance. It can also be related to genetics and family relationships.

Many people don’t know much about this eating disorder. Here are some essential things you need to know about it.

It’s a Serious Mental Illness

While it may seem like something someone could “just stop doing it,” bulimia nervosa is a natural and severe mental illness. The behavior patterns associated with bulimia can be highly harmful to the body and the mind and even deadly in extreme cases. If you or someone you know is struggling with bulimia, it’s essential to seek professional help.

A woman with a eating disorder

Physical Complications

Bulimia nervosa can cause several physical complications, making it even more dangerous. Here are some physical complications of this eating disorder and how to deal with it.

Tooth Loss

Purging and using the acid-reflux medication can lead to tooth erosion and cavities. If you are struggling with bulimia and tooth loss, replacing any teeth you’ve lost is essential. This decreases the chances of infection in your mouth and even oral cancer. Getting a teeth replacement service is one of the best ways to do this. The service uses implants to hold artificial teeth in place, which look and feel natural. This can replace any missing teeth you might have and reduce further oral complications caused by the disorder.

Stomach ruptures

Severe purging can cause the stomach to rupture. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. If you or someone you know is purging excessively, seek help immediately.


Frequent vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. If you are dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids and see a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve.

It Starts Early

Most people who develop bulimia nervosa do so during adolescence or young adulthood. However, the disorder can develop at any age. Keeping an eye out on your loved ones, especially young adults, can help you spot the signs and get them treated early.

Symptoms Can be Unique Among People

People with bulimia often try to hide their behaviors from friends and family members, making it difficult to spot the signs of the disorder. Some common bulimia nervosa include purging after meals, excessive exercise, skipping meals or restricting food intake, and spending excessive time thinking about food and body image.

It’s Treatable

There is hope if you or someone you know is struggling with bulimia nervosa! The illness is highly treatable with professional help. Here are some of the best treatments for the disorder.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Your thoughts affect how you feel and behave. If you have bulimia, your thinking is likely distorted in a way that leads to unhealthy behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you change your thinking to better control your behaviors.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is another therapy that can be effective for bulimia nervosa. IPT focuses on the relationships between people and how they communicate with each other.


There are no FDA-approved medications specifically for bulimia nervosa. However, some medicines can help treat related conditions like depression and anxiety. Some medications you can take include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotics.


This treatment is still experimental but shows a good prognosis against many mental disorders. Ketamine works by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps improve mood and reduce cravings. It can be taken by infusion or pill form.

Bulimia nervosa is a severe mental illness that requires professional treatment. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from bulimia nervosa, please reach out for help! Many resources are available to those struggling with the disorder, and recovery is possible.

Scroll to Top