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Bulimia Nervosa Treatment

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Bulimia Nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, repeated use of compensatory behaviors in order to prevent weight gain, and includes significant distress about body shape and weight. At Beyond, we have both dietitians and therapists with experience treating Bulimia Nervosa.

Clients can choose to work with a Registered Dietitian, Therapist, or both. Our treatment teams use a weight inclusive approach, and Health at Every Size (HAES) principles guide our treatment. Aspects of Bulimia treatment may address weight neutrality, body grief and acceptance, intuitive eating principles, and joyful movement and are tailored to meet your specific needs! 

Beyond Therapy and Nutrition Center can support you

if you're looking for treatment for Bulimia Nervosa!

Bulimia Nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, repeated use of compensatory behaviors in order to prevent weight gain, and includes significant distress about body shape and weight. Binge eating is defined as eating a larger amount of food than typically expected for the circumstances in a certain period of time (typically within a 2-hour period). Compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain include self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise. For a diagnosis of BN, binge eating and compensatory behaviors must have occurred, at least once per week, on average, for three months. Bulimia Nervosa symptoms can be experienced at varying levels of severity. 

 

According to the DSM-5, the diagnostic criteria for Bulimia Nervosa is as follows:

 

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating characterized by 

    1. Eating, in a set period of time, an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most individuals would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances*

    2. A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, feeling that you cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)

  2. Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviors in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications, fasting**, or excessive exercise

  3. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least once a week for 3 months. 

  4. Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight

  5. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia nervosa 


*Eating larger portions of food occasionally during holidays or social gatherings would be an exception as it would be considered socially expected to eat more under those circumstances.

 

**Fasting can include following a strict diet or engaging in periods of dieting.

Who’s at a greater risk for developing Bulimia Nervosa?

 

Eating disorders, including Bulimia, can happen to anyone and do not discriminate based on race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or body shape/size. They tend to have genetic components, so a family history of BN may increase risk of developing the disorder. Individuals may be at a higher risk for developing Bulimia Nervosa, if significant body image, weight concerns, or low self-esteem are present. This can include children whose bodies mature faster than peers. Social media has increased the societal and peer pressures of beauty standards and have increased the perception of the importance of appearance, which especially impacts our children and teenagers. In addition, having other mental health concerns, such as anxiety disorders and depressive symptoms, or a history of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or other traumatic event, are associated with BN. BN is more common in female-identifying individuals, but can still occur in male-identifying individuals, and typically starts around adolescence.

Signs/Symptoms-

 

Some signs of Bulimia Nervosa include-

 

  • Eating large amounts of food in a set period of time (larger amounts than would typically be expected for the same time frame and circumstance) 

  • Feeling you are out of control with food

  • Eating large portions of foods you would normally avoid

  • Hiding eating or purging habits from others

  • Self-inducing vomiting or misusing laxatives or other medications for weight loss

  • Compulsatory and/or excessive exercise

  • Body image concerns that compel you to engage in food/exercise habits to control body size/shape

  • Having strict rules about food or following strict diets

  • Eating until uncomfortably or painfully full

  • Planning routines or social interactions around eating or compensatory habits

  • Difficulty coping with uncomfortable feelings

 

If you experience any of these symptoms and think you may have Bulimia Nervosa, talking with a medical professional can help you understand your symptoms and treatment options!

Beyond's Treatment Approaches for Binge Eating Disorder

 

At Beyond, we have both dietitians and therapists with experience treating Bulimia Nervosa. Clients can choose to work with a Registered Dietitian, Therapist, or both. Goals of Bulimia treatment may include stabilizing eating habits to ensure adequate nutrition, increasing coping skills to manage emotions and stress, addressing body image concerns and/or other underlying factors for the eating disorder, including traumatic or stressful experiences. 

 

At Beyond, we believe that everyone deserves relational treatment that aims to meet you where you are in your experience with Bulimia Nervosa. We do not use punitive measures or include stipulations in our treatment. 

 

 

Beyond's eating disorder therapists offer online therapy for eating disorders in Pennslvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida and in person therapy for eating disorders in Newtown, Pennslyvania.

Beyond's eating disorder dietitians offer in-person nutrition counseling in Newtown, Pennsylvania and online nutrition counseling for eating disorders in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia,

Colorado, Texas, California, Connecticut and Arizona.

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