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Symptoms and Risk Factors Associated with Bulimia Nervosa

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Rohit Sharma 86% (60 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi  •  13 years experience
Symptoms and Risk Factors Associated with Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder which is marked by the tremendous compulsion to binge eat, and then adopt extreme measures to avoid putting on weight. It usually affects men and women of all ages. Bulimia Nervosa makes you extremely restless, when all you think about is how to undo the binge eating.

Signs that you are suffering from Bulimia

  • You are unable to stop eating
  • You consume food very secretively when nobody is around
  • You eat till you almost feel sick
  • You rarely eat normally; you either overeat, or you go on a fast
  • You exercise vigorously after eating to burn off the calories
  • You use a lot of laxatives, or enemas
  • You try to vomit out the food you have consumed because you feel guilty
  • You have a very poor image and perception about your own body.
  • You have low self esteem, and you consider yourself to be worthless and unattractive

Physical signs of Bulimia Nervosa

  • Scars on the knuckles or hands; from trying to run your finger down your throat to induce vomiting.
  • Saggy and puffy cheeks
  • Discolored teeth; from throwing up every time after you have binge eaten
  • You experience very frequent fluctuations in weight

Risk factors with Bulimia Nervosa


Bulimia Nervosa is a very complex psychological issue, and the following factors tend to increase the risk of this disease:

  • Gender - Women are more likely to suffer from bulimia than men.
  • Age - Bulimia normally affects people in their late teens and early adulthood.
  • Biology - Bulimia may also be linked genetically, with evidence that if you have close relatives with this disorder, you are more likely to suffer as well. Deficiency of the chemical serotonin in the brain might also play a leading role.
  • Media and peer pressure - Media has this tendency to feature skinny models and this adversely affects the youth who tend to be guided by what the media projects.
  • Sports or other artistic pressures - If you are an actor, or a dancer, there are higher chances of you suffering from Bulimia if you are encouraged to eat less and exercise a lot more to be in shape all the time.

'Consult'.

Tip: Causes of eating disorders and risk factors associated with them

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