Bulimia nervosa

What is bulimia nervosa?
Bulimia nervosa is a marginal mental disorder associated with abnormal feeding behavior. It is manifested as repeated attacks of overeating during which a patient can consume an enormous amount of food over a short time. Noteworthy is that bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa may be interconvertible.

What are the signs of bulimia nervosa?
The disease is recognized by the average frequency of overeating attacks, which occur not less than twice weekly for, at least, three months. During such attacks, patients loose control over their feeding behavior. At the same time, they are concerned with their body shape and weight. To prevent weight gain, they may use laxatives and diuretics, force themselves to severely restricted diet or fasting and/or heavy physical exercises, or induce vomiting.

Who may develop bulimia nervosa?
Among patients with bulimia nervosa, girls and young women predominate (85%-90%). The risk groups include senior schoolchildren and, especially, college students. The onset of the disease typically coincides with the beginning of postpubertal period. A special group is comprised of sportsmen, ballet dancers, and models because of their occupation.

What causes the development of bulimia?
Bulimia nervosa results from a complex interaction of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors, the relative significance of which changes as the disease progresses. One of the first causes of bulimia may be traumatic emotional experiences resulting from negative attitudes to one's appearance from others. Especially important in this respect are the biological and psychological peculiarities of adolescents. The dissatisfaction with one's looks may develop because of real changes occurring during pubescence. At the same time, this is the period of especially high sensitivity to certain psychic traumas. Interrelationships within patient's family may also be important. Many families where bulimia nervosa occurs harbor special attitudes towards appearance and eating. Depressive attitudes to life may also increase the sensitivity to factors that may cause bulimia.

How should bulimia nervosa be treated?
The treatment of bulimia nervosa must involve correction of feeding behavior, using of special diet, and psychotherapy and may include vitamins and medicinal drugs. The optimal regimens should includes 1.5-2 months of inpatient treatment followed by ambulatory care. Unfortunately, bulimia nervosa tends to be long-lasting and relapsing; therefore, it is hard to expect prompt results.

Where one may address to treat bulimia nervosa?
To treat bulimia nervosa, one should seek attention of physicians who specialize in this very field. LENMEDCENTER has accumulated a vast experience in successful treatment of this disease. We are ready to devise individual complex programs of inpatient and outpatient treatment and to implement them. Treatment approaches practiced at LENMEDCENTER help to overcome negative (anosognostic) attitudes towards the disease, to correct patient's ideas about the ideal body weight, to develop rational feeding patterns and new feeding habits and to consolidate them. Come to us, and we will help you to solve your problems!