What is bulimia?

Also known as: bulimia nervosa, binging and purging, eating disorder

Bulimia is a type of eating disorder where children/adolescents (especially girls) will have episodes of uncontrollable overeating (binge eating).

Episodes may occur a couple of times a week, once a day, or many times a day. During the episodes large amounts of food are consumed in a short time (frequently less than 2 hours). Bouts of bulimia usually last for 3 months.

Often these episodes are followed by self-induced vomiting. Purging or using laxatives/enemas or other ways to control their weight like fasting or using medications to increase urine output.

Bulimia affects both sexes, all ages, across all socioeconomic and racial groups.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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