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


"In 30 patients whose illness bears a close resemblance to anorexia nervosa,…episodes of overeating constituted the most constant feature of the disorder…. Overeating was often overshadowed by more dramatic clinical phenomena--intractable self-induced vomiting or purgation…. The constancy and significance of overeating invite a new terminology for description of this symptom--bulimia nervosa." - Gerald F.M. Russell, 1979

The term 'Bulimia' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followed by self-induced vomiting or purgation. It commonly occurs in adolescent girls. The key elements include the following:

  • This 'Eating Disorder' is characterised by an irresistible urge to overeat.
  • Extreme measures to control body weight and misconceptions regarding the "perfect" shape and size of the body are observed, similar to that in patients with Anorexia Nervosa.
  • The condition might get severe with huge quantities of food being consumed.
  • To prevent weight gain patients resort to self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, fasting or extremely rigorous exercising.


  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.

Latest Publications and Research on Bulimia Nervosa


NINA1 Sunday, February 26, 2012

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

Most Popular on Medindia