Bulimia nervosa, often referred to as just bulimia, and binge-eating disorder (BED) are eating disorders.
They can cause binge eating - consuming enormous amounts of food in one session. Bingeing can be the result of extreme hunger from the wrong kind of dieting.
Body image is a big concern for many people today and dieting is not unusual. However, for some people, using extreme methods to lose weight can lead to their developing eating disorders, which can cause serious health problems.
People with bulimia nervosa may use 'purging' methods to try and get rid of the food after a binge. This can involve deliberate vomiting, taking laxatives, extreme exercise or other methods.
They may also use strict dieting, fasting or take diet pills to compensate for the binges. People with BED do not purge or try to compensate for their binges.
Eating disorders are often a secret problem. Many people feel ashamed and afraid to seek help. Bulimia nervosa can cause serious damage to physical health and wellbeing. The good news is, effective treatment for bulimia nervosa is available. If you are struggling with binge eating, see your doctor.
Last reviewed: July 2017