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When it comes to diagnosing the illness of bulimia nervosa, this can be extremely challenging for physicians as typically the individual who has bulimia denies their problem and hides their practices of binging and purging. In the majority of cases there are no visible signs of significant weight loss as people with this disorder tend to maintain a normal weight or be overweight. Individuals with bulimia rarely attempt to get any medical help on their own and they are typically not diagnosed until they seek medical treatment for another health issue caused by their illness or when a family member or friend intervenes. However, - unlike individuals who have anorexia nervosa - most bulimics are aware that what they are doing is unhealthy and most are willing to divulge there habits of binge eating and purging and except their diagnosis as well as follow through with treatment. The Diagnostic Criteria for Bulimia For the diagnosis of bulimia to be made, there are five criteria that must be met which consist of the individuals binging and purging habits and their attitude or thoughts regarding their body image and weight loss. One of the five criteria consists of the habit of binge eating which is consuming an excessive amount of food in a "discrete time period". Another criteria is the act of purging in which the individual in order to avoid weight gain "compensates" for the excess food intake by self-induced vomiting, taking laxatives, using diuretics, fasting, using an enema, or exercising to excess. Binging and purging must occur at least two times per week for a period of three consecutive months. The attitude of a bulimic in regards to weight and body image is very much the same as an anorexic with fear of gaining weight and constant self-evaluation of their body image. Bulimics also have unrealistic perceptions of their ideal body weight typically being that of way underweight relative to their height, age, and gender. The eating disorder of anorexia nervosa must also be ruled out as sometimes anorexics will go through an episode of binging and purging. It is also common for bulimics to have had a history of anorexia and the symptoms of bulimia could in fact be a relapse of anorexia. The Two Basic Types of Bulimia Diagnosis When a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa is made, it must be given a subtype or category of which there are two basic categories for bulimia which are "purging type bulimia nervosa" and "nonpurging type bulimia nervosa".


The purging type of bulimia is when an individual attempts to get rid of the excess calorie intake after binging by techniques such as the use of laxatives, or self-induced vomiting. The non-purging type is when an individual exercises excessively or fasts to avoid gaining weight. All of the above criteria must be met before a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa can be made and all other conditions which include physical or mental must be ruled out as there are numerous other illnesses which can mimic the signs and symptoms of bulimia.

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The Bulimia Help Method