Obesity and Bulimia Nervosa
Binge eating is also present in another eating disorder, bulimia nervosa.
It is estimated that 1.1 to 4.2 percent of females will have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime. Bulimics are caught in a binge/purge cycle. They binge eat, usually in secret, then purge to get rid of the calories just eaten. Purging may involve either self-induced vomiting after eating or using laxatives, diuretics or enemas.
People with bulimia may also exercise intensely for long periods of time in attempt to burn off the extra calories taken in during binge eating, or they may go for long periods of time without eating. Many bulimics do a combination or all of these things.
Bulimia affects more women than men and more young women in their teens and twenties than older women. These women are usually obsessed with their weight and truly believe that they are overweight even though most have a normal body weight. It can cause a number of serious health effects, including anemia, dehydration, heart problems, ruptured esophagus, stomach ulcers and even death.
Like binge eating disorder, bulimia is treated with therapy and medications.
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