Bulimia Nervosa Essay

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INTRODUCTION Bulimia nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder categorized for physiological and psychological behaviors which affect food consumption. People with bulimia nervosa are overly concerned with their body’s shape and weight and engage in detrimental behaviors in an attempt to control their weight. Bulimia is often characterized by uncontrollable episodes of of binge eating, (consuming large amounts of food within a short period of time) followed by inappropriate, reactionary behaviors to rid the body of the excess calories that were eaten. Unlike simple overeating, people who binge “cannot stop the urge to eat” once it has begun, even after their stomach is full. Binging may “feel good” initially, but it quickly becomes distressing for the person who is absorbed in this behavior. Food is often eaten secretly, and when the binge is over, the person feels guilty and ashamed. There are two subgroups of behavior aimed at compensating for large caloric intakes, including the following: Purging type and Non- Purging type. Purging-type bulimia involves self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics or enemas to rid the body of food eaten during binges before it is digested or metabolized. Non-purging bulimics will make use of other methods to prevent weight gain, such as fasting or over-exercising. Bulimia nervosa affects 1-4% of adolescent and young adult women. People struggling with bulimia nervosa usually appear to be of average body weight. They are usually impulsive, perfectionistic, hard-working, introverted, resistant to change and self-critical. They also tend to have low self-esteem based on body image distortion. However, regardless of the age, sex or other characteristics of the individual, eating large amounts of food followed by compensating as a means of avoiding weight gain initially reduces anxiety, stress and negative mood
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