Bulimia is a specific eating disorder involving periods of binge eating and feeling out of control while eating, in addition to compensatory behaviors. These compensatory behaviors are ways of reversing caloric intake such as by self-induced vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise, and other similar practices. Bulimia is a serious disorder that poses many health threats and is not limited to any specific age group or gender. Repeated vomiting can cause damage to the lining of the esophagus and can permanently erode tooth enamel, in addition to leading to heart and fertility complications. Like other eating disorders, if the health risks posed by one’s behavior are excessive then that person may benefit from more intensive care, including oversight by a physician. Bulimia often co-occurs with other mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, self-image and self-esteem difficulties, and others.
Therapy can address these concerns, in addition to helping people with bulimia find ways to cope with and tolerate their emotions. If you have concerns about yourself or a loved one, speak with a mental health professional to determine a brighter path forward.
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