bulimia

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Related to bulimics: bulimia nervosa, bulimia

eating disorders

eating disorders, in psychology, disorders in eating patterns that comprise four categories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, rumination disorder, and pica. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation to avoid obesity. People with this disorder believe they are overweight, even when their bodies become grotesquely distorted by malnourishment. Bulimia is characterized by massive food binges followed by self-induced vomiting or use of diuretics and laxatives to avoid weight gain. Some anorexic patients combine bulimic purges with their starvation routine. These disorders generally afflict women—particularly in adolescence and young adulthood—and are much less common among men. Some researchers believe that anorexia and bulimia are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain; one study has linked bulimia to deprivation of tryptophan, an amino acid used by the body to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Others contend that these disorders are rooted in societal ideals that value slenderness. Rumination disorder generally occurs during infancy, and involves repeated regurgitation accompanied by low body weight. Infants suffering from rumination disorder may re-ingest the regurgitated food. Pica, also found primarily among infants, is characterized by eating various non-nutritive substances like plaster, paint, or leaves. Obesity is not generally considered an eating disorder, since its causes tend to be physiological.
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bulimia

see ANOREXIA NERVOSA.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bulimia

 

voracious appetite, severe increase in appetite that usually comes on in the form of an attack and is accompanied by tormenting hunger, general weakness, and pain in the epigastrium. Bulimia occurs in some diseases of the central nervous system and the endocrine system and in certain mental illnesses. Treatment consists in attacking the cause.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

bulimia

[bə′lēm·ē·ə]
(medicine)
Excessive, insatiable appetite, seen in psychotic states; a symptom of diabetes mellitus and of certain cerebral lesions. Also known as hyperphagia.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bulimia

1. pathologically insatiable hunger, esp when caused by a brain lesion
2. a disorder characterized by compulsive overeating followed by vomiting: sometimes associated with anxiety about gaining weight
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In 2005 actress Jane Fonda told a conference of teenage girls in the US: "I was bulimic for 35 years.
"Bulimics tend to respond beautifully to medication, and, in general, if you treat their depression or mood symptoms with medication, the bulimic symptoms also improve," she said.
Bulimics may show weight fluctuations associated with binge/purge cycles.
Male anorexics and bulimics frequently remain in denial by using athletic activity to justify disordered eating behavior.
In the group as a whole, bulimic behavior gradually diminished during the course of the pregnancy.
* Characteristics: Bulimics binge, or consume large amounts of food at one time, they try to rid themselves of what they ate by vomiting, over-exercising, or abusing laxatives or diet pills.
(See Kuhn, Schanberg, Field, Symanski,' Zimmerman, Scafidi, & Roberts, 1991, for a description of the procedure.) Although bulimics show depleted serotonin (Kaye et al., 1984), they are noted to have elevated norepinephrine levels (Robinson, Checkley, & Russell, 1985; Smythe, Bradshaw, & Vining, 1983).
Bulimics remained largely unchanged 6 months later.
But compulsive overeaters differ from bulimics in that compulsive overeaters do not purge after a binge.
Although ipecac use is far from epidemic, therapists say that a sizable minority of their bulimic patients -- people who induce vomiting to purge food after going on a binge or off a diet -- admit to using the substance when they are most desperate and other methods seem inadequate.
In fact, it is worse because, while an alcoholic can manage to avoid alcohol, a bulimic can't avoid food.