A potentially life-threatening eating disorder, BULIMIA NERVOSA is characterized by binge eating followed by purging. People with Bulimia Nervosa often eat a large quantity of food in one go. This binge eating episode accompanied by a sense of loss of control of the overeating process causes a feeling of guilt and recurrent inappropriate behavior intended to prevent weight gain. This phenomenon is called purging, which includes, in addition to the use of purgatives, such measures as dietary fasting, excessive exercising, use of laxatives or self-induced vomiting, and even taking of thyroid medication to increase metabolism.
A person suffering from ANOREXIA NERVOSA often experiences a strong fear of gaining weight which leads to a refusal to maintain a healthy body weight or adequate nutritional status. Anorexia nervosa is typically associated with an erroneous complaint of being fat; weight loss up to 85% of ideal body weight (IBW); disturbance of body image; and in post-menarcheal females, the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual periods. An individual suffering from anorexia follows extreme steps to maintain a low body weight. He or she may try to lose weight by excessive exercise, or by using laxatives and vomiting as measure to get rid of the food from the body. It is considered one of the deadliest psychiatric disorders. In the absence of effective treatment, around 20%, of the people with anorexia die.