Bulimia nervosa, usually referred to as bulimia, is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder that is characterized by:

  • Frequent and recurrent episodes of uncontrolled overeating (binge eating)
  • Purging (behavior that is used to compensate for binge eating) can consist of forced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, enemas, diuretics (medications that cause increased urination), fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors
  • Basing self-esteem (how a person feels about oneself) on body shape and weight