Bulimia, also known as bulimia nervosa, is classified as an eating and mental health disorder. 

The disease causes a person to binge eat large amounts of food in a relatively short period of time.  This action causes feelings of guilt and remorse and leads to forced purging.

The purging of consumed food can include:

  • Induced vomiting
  • Use of laxatives
  • Periods of starvation
  • Excessive exercise

Although the exact cause of bulimia is unknown, it can be related to many factors including, stress, genetics, peer pressure, dieting, depression or substance abuse.

The onset of Bulimia usually begins in people between the ages of 14 and 22, tell-tale signs are:

  • A preoccupation with body shape and weight
  • Living in fear of gaining weight
  • Recurrent episodes of eating abnormally large amounts of food
  • Body Dysmorphia (a mental health disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance)
  • Purging of food after overeating

The disease can be treated with therapy which aims to help the individual adjust the unrealistic way they view their appearance, negative thoughts and strengthens the ability to face and overcome their issues. The support of family and loved ones also play a key role in the treatment of bulimia.

Bulimia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening. If you, or someone you know, is showing the signs of bulimia and would like to speak with a health care professional, please call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001, to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.