Bulimia nervosa is a life-threatening eating disorder that is characterized by an uncontrollable urge and habit of eating large amounts of food and then trying to get rid of extra calories through unhealthy ways to avoid weight gain. These methods of avoiding weight gain may include doing self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, consuming weight-loss supplements, misusing laxatives, etc. People with bulimia nervosa live in fear of gaining weight. They eat abnormally in one sitting. One of the most famous personalities who had this eating disorder was Princess Diana. Also Read - How Eating Disorders Affect Your Health

Bulimia nervosa is one of the most prevalent eating disorders and predominantly affects females (up to 2 per cent of females) of which 95 per cent are in the 12-25-year age group, Dr. Pramod Krishnan – Consultant and HOD – Neurology, Manipal Hospitals tells IANSlife. However, the incidence in males is increasing, he points out. Also Read - Low childhood BMI can up eating disorder risk in teens

If you are suffering from this disorder, you should urgently seek medical help, or else your health is going to be seriously affected. Also, confide in somebody close to you for some mental support and to get the right treatment. Also Read - Eating disorders, figure skating's 'dirty little secret'

How to Know if a Person is Suffering From Bulimia Nervosa?

A patient with this condition constantly complaints about being fat and follows strict dieting after binge eating. The person may also have a distorted body image and exercise too much. He/she may also have damaged teeth and gums and swelling in the hands and feet. Facial swelling, changing weight, sores in hands, not wanting to eat in public are some of the other symptoms to look out for.

Treatment For Bulimia Nervosa

Patients with bulimia nervosa have a higher mortality rate compared to the general population. The treatment requires a multi-disciplinary approach working in sync with the patient and family, involving psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and nutritionists specialising in adolescent medicine. Psychotherapy is the foundation for successful treatment of bulimia nervosa. Cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy are proven therapies for bulimia nervosa. Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga are also helpful. Medications like SSRIs may be useful in patients with psychiatric symptoms or not responding to psychotherapy. About 80 per cent of patients recover with therapy but 20 per cent may relapse and may be challenging to manage.

With Inputs From IANS