Bulimia (Bulimia Nervosa) is a cyclic behavior pattern of binge eating followed by some type of purging.

The latter can take the form of fasting, self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or use of cathartics (used to evacuate the bowels) or diuretics (used to promote urination).

What makes a person bulimic is not purging by itself, but rather the cycle of bingeing and purging.

Someone suffering from Bulimia may have some of the following signs. Not all of these need be present to consider a person bulimic.

Recurrent episodes of binge eating andinappropriate compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain. Examples of the latter include self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications; fasting; or, excessive exercise.

Inappropriate compensatory behaviors fall into two main categories:

  1. Purging: The person has regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or use of medications.
  2. Non-Purging: The person has used other inappropriate compensatory behaviors, such as fasting or excessive exercise, but has not regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.