What it is
Bulimia nervosa is a type of eating disorder. It is often called just bulimia. A person with bulimia binges—eating a lot of food in a short amount of time. The person may fear gaining weight after a binge. Binging also can cause feelings of shame and guilt. So, the person tries to "undo" the binge by getting rid of the food. This is called purging. Purging might be done by:
* making yourself throw up
* taking laxatives
* exercising a lot
* eating very little or not at all
* taking water pills to urinate
Who is at risk?
Nine out of 10 people with bulimia are women. But bulimia can affect anyone: Men, older women, and women of color can become bulimic. It was once thought that women of color were protected from eating disorders by their cultures. These cultures tend to be more accepting of all body sizes. But research shows that as women of color are more exposed to images of thin women, they are more likely to get eating disorders.