What are the Facts About Bulimia Nervosa?

You may know that bulimia is a complex eating disorder. But you may not know about the intense secrecy associated with this illness: bulimia sufferers work constantly to hide their bingeing and purging behaviors from others.

Additional Facts About Bulimia Nervosa

  • 5 percent of American women suffer from bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.1
  • Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) for Bulimia Nervosa is 1.93 (SMR is a ratio between the observed number of deaths in an study population and the number of deaths would be expected).2
  • Nearly half of bulimia patients have a comorbid mood disorder.3
  • More than half of bulimia patients have comorbid anxiety disorders.3
  • 1 in 10 bulimia patients have a comorbid substance abuse disorder, usually alcohol use.3

By shining a light on bulimia's life-threatening consequences and its pervasiveness, we hope to help increase awareness of this debilitating illness and to encourage those who suffer to get help. With proper treatment, recovery from bulimia is possible.

  1. Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G., & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348–358.
  2. Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. (2011). Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders: a meta-analysis of 36 studies. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 724-731.
  3. Ulfvebrand, S., Birgegard, A., Norring, C., Hogdahl, L., & von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Y. (2015). Psychiatric comorbidity in women and men with eating disorders results from a large clinical database. Psychiatry Research, 230(2), 294-299.

Bulimia Research is Lacking

As one of the most complex mental health illnesses, the research around bulimia nervosa is ongoing. We acknowledge that there are some gaps in the field about this eating disorder condition, however, our team is constantly doing their part to study and analyze bulimia to improve our specialized treatment approach.

Call Us With Questions About Bulimia

Recovery from bulimia begins with a single conversation. If you are feeling isolated and suffering from this illness – or if you suspect that someone else is suffering – we urge you to reach out for help.

To speak confidentially with one of our Masters-level clinicians, call us today at 877-825-8584. There is no cost for the call.

Specialized care for bulimia is available at our eating disorder treatment center — for diverse patients of all ages and all levels of care.

Learn More About Bulimia Nervosa

What is bulimia?

Although research about bulimia is ongoing, there is a lot you can learn about this eating disorder to understand how to get help or help a loved one. Learn more about bulimia, including the causes, symptoms and available treatment options.

What causes bulimia?

As with other eating disorders, bulimia has no singular cause. However, the evolving scientific literature suggests that this pattern of disordered eating develops from a complex interplay between genetic, psychological and sociocultural factors.

What are the health risks associated with bulimia?

There are many health risks associated with bulimia. Learn about the short-term and long-term risks to understand the effects of this disorder.

How is bulimia treated?

Bulimia treatment is unique to each patient’s needs. Medical stabilization, psychiatric stabilization, nutritional rehabilitation and weight restoration (when appropriate) are considered when determining a patient’s treatment plan.

Learn about bulimia facts and statistics.

There are many misconceptions about bulimia, including the fact that it is simply vomiting after meals.

Do I have Bulimia? Take our Bulimia Quiz.

If you or a loved one struggle with some of the symptoms described here, it may be worth speaking with a clinician and considering treatment options.

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