About Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a type of eating disorder. People with bulimia engage in recurrent binging and purging, such as eating lots of food in a short amount of time, self-induced vomiting, fasting, the use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics and overexercising.


Western Medicine View

It is most widely thought that a desire to have a very thin, flawless body is the main reason why people get bulimia nervosa. Besides, painful emotions like anger, sadness or stress, and psychological problems such as low self-esteem as well as biological factors like genes, hormones and chemicals in the brain might also be causes of bulimia nervosa.


Chinese Medicine View

The major organs involved in bulimia nervosa are stomach, liver, spleen and kidney. Congenital deficiency (related to Kidney deficiency), improper diet (related to Spleen and Stomach deficiency), emotional imbalance (disharmony between Liver and Spleen), or drug related problems can bring on bulimia nervosa. Common symptoms can be seen in body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height, not wanting or refusing to eat, loss of at least three consecutive menstrual periods (in women), anxiety, getting weak, having brittle skin and shortness of breath, and obsession with dieting and weight.


According to Chinese Medicine theory acupuncture can be prescribed to treat both the physical and emotional factors behind bulimia nervosa. This means that any emotional causes can be tackled whilst at the same time building up the body's strength and tonifying the organs. Over time the sense of well-being gained from treatment can help the patient to overcome the desire to continue this eating disorder.



Lifestyle Advice

Diet improvement, education and proper exercise can all help to manage bulimia.

For personalised advice on diet and lifestyle, please ask the doctor during your consultation. Please be reminded that AcuMedic offers free health advice.


Last Updated: December 13, 2012


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