Written by Dr. Vivekanand, MBBS | 
Medically Reviewed by dr. reeja tharu, M.Phil.,Ph.D on Dec 07, 2014

Causes of Bulimia Nervosa

Cause of Bulimia is unknown however social pressures to look slim may precipitate the problem.

There are no specific causes for bulimia.

Bulimia often appears not only to be the result of improper eating or uncontrolled dieting, but also due to the exposure to risk factors of a psychiatric disorder.

General factors that lead to Bulimia are:

  • Low self-esteem in women, coupled with an obsession about the "perfect" body.
  • A person with a family history of Bulimia or a psychiatric disorder, especially depression is more prone to suffer from this condition.The role of genetics, as a predisposing factor is unclear, although it has been suggested as a cause.
  • The influence of social environment, that includes family and friends who advocate dieting, encourage physical slimness, and excessive exercising, plays a strong role in the onset of Bulimia.
  • Memories of traumatic childhood experience.
  • Biological factors (hormonal) that are usually associated with depression are also being currently studied in association with Bulimi.


  1. Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry (IVth Edition): Oxford University Press Michael Gelder, Richard Mayou & Philip Cowen.
  2. A Short Textbook of Psychiatry (Vth Edition): Jaypee Brothers, Niraj Ahuja, MD.
  3. Bulimia nervosa: an ominous variant of anorexia nervosa. Psych Med. 1979; 9:429-48. Russell, Gerald F.M.
  4. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialities. 6th Edition. Oxford press. Judith Colier, Murray Longmore, Peter Scally.
  5. Russell, Gerald F.M. Bulimia nervosa : an ominous variant of anorexia nervosa. Psych Med. 1979; 9:429-48.


NINA1 Sunday, February 26, 2012

There is so much information about eating disorders. But almost no information about how or where to get help.

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