The Surprising Differences & Similarities Of Eating Disorders

What Is Bulimia?

Bulimia nervosa, commonly known as simply bulimia, is a severe and potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by individuals who secretly binge eat or eat an abundant amount of food at one time, then purge as a method to try and expel the extra calories from food in an unhealthy manner. For instance, an individual affected by bulimia may force vomiting or engage in excessive exercise. Bulimia has two categories: purging bulimia and nonpurging bulimia. Purging bulimia is regularly self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas after binge eating. Nonpurging bulimia is when an individual uses different methods to rid themselves of calories and to prevent weight gain, such as through fasting, strict dieting, or excessive exercise, while still binge eating.

Similar to anorexia, individuals who suffer from bulimia associate their self-worth with how thin they are, and is related to emotional and mental health issues the person is trying to cope with. The main difference between anorexia and bulimia is an anorexic will not eat, but rather starve themselves, while a bulimic will eat but purge or vomit immediately after eating so their body will not absorb all the calories to ensure there is no weight gain.

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