Bulimia, also known as bulimia nervosa, is an eating disorder characterized by a cycle of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain. People with bulimia typically have a fear of gaining weight and a negative body image.

Binge eating episodes in bulimia involve consuming a large amount of food within a short period, often feeling a loss of control during these episodes. The types of food consumed during a binge can vary, but they are often high in calories and may be consumed rapidly and in secret.


After a binge episode, individuals with bulimia engage in compensatory behaviors to rid their bodies of the consumed calories. These behaviors often include self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, fasting, or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.

Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia may maintain a relatively normal weight or even be slightly overweight. Due to the secretive nature of their behaviors, individuals with bulimia often try to hide their disorder from others, making it challenging to detect.

Bulimia Nervosa: What You Need to Know

Bulimia nervosa can have serious physical consequences. Frequent vomiting can lead to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, erosion of dental enamel, and damage to the esophagus. The misuse of laxatives and diuretics can also disrupt the body’s electrolyte balance, leading to potential organ damage.


Bulimia nervosa is a complex disorder that can be caused by a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. It often coexists with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.


Brighten Bay’s treatment for bulimia typically involves a combination of medical, nutritional, and psychological interventions. Our medical professionals address any physical complications, while nutritional counseling helps individuals establish regular and balanced eating patterns.


Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is a commonly used approach in treating bulimia. CBT helps individuals identify and change unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors related to food and body image. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can also be effective.


Recovery from bulimia is possible with professional help and support. Treatment focuses on addressing the underlying psychological issues, developing healthier eating habits, and improving body image.

Talk to Us About Bulimia Treatment

At Brighten Bay, we’re dedicated to equipping individuals and their families with the resources needed to heal from bulimia. With our wealth of expertise, we address bulimia and any co-occurring conditions in the same setting for the best possible chance of long-term recovery. Our focus is on treating the whole person — mind, body, and spirit. If you or a loved is suffering from bulimia, get in touch with us today. Our compassionate staff is standing by to answer your questions and help you begin the journey to recovery.