Bulimia is an eating disorder, in which a period of very low food intake is followed by bingeing and “purging” by vomiting or using laxatives. As with other eating disorders, bulimia is often associated with self-harm, alcohol abuse, and depression. People with bulimia are often close to normal weight, though they typically have a distorted body image, and their weight may fluctuate regularly. Long-term bulimia can cause damage to the teeth and digestive system. A tell tale indicator of bulimia is scarring to the knuckles, caused by inducing vomiting. Up to 8 per cent of women are estimated to have bulimia to some degree during their lives. Though a broad range of psychological therapies have been found to aid recovery, cognitive behavioural therapy and family therapy are most frequently used.


National Centre for Eating Disorders