Bulimia is an eating disorder that is characterized by extreme overeating (bingeing) followed by self-induced vomiting. Often, but not always, bulimia is associated with anorexia, in which bingeing and dieting are both carried out to extremes.

Bulimics may be thin, normal, or slightly underweight. If anorexia is part of the eating disorder, there will be an extreme loss of body weight. Bingeing and vomiting may occur several times a day, after most meals, or less frequently. Gastric symptoms, loss of menstruation, swollen face and neck especially after coming out of the bathroom after eating meals, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, poor cold tolerance, severe food cravings, excessive exercise habits, poor stress coping skills, depression, and even suicidal tendencies may also occur in cases of chronic or severe bulimia. Vomiting exposes the teeth to gastric juice and there may be dental erosion.

Since bulimia is often performed in "secret," the rate of occurrence is not fully established. However, it is much more prevalent in women between the ages of 12 and 30.

Nutrient deficiencies (especially zinc), food allergies, and amino acid imbalances can all result from or contribute to bulimia. In addition, although in both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, the underlying causative factors are commonly believed to be solely due to an obsession with body fat, a fear of being (or becoming) fat, or over-concern with perfectionism and are indeed important.

Diet: A whole foods diet with regular eating patterns is very important. Also, avoid all products containing sugar and white flour, and be sure to obtain sufficient protein sources to adequately nourish the body.

Homeopathy: Calc carb., Ipecac., and Graphites are useful remedies for bulimia.

Nutritional Supplementation: Liquid ionic multi-mineral complex and multivitamin complex supplements can help overcome the extreme vitamin and mineral deficiencies associated with binge and purge eating and overuse of laxatives. Complex amino acids can also assist in balancing blood sugar levels, which helps reduce food cravings.

Alternative Professional Care: If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional. The following professional care therapies have all been shown to be useful for treating and relieving the symptoms of bulimia: Biofeedback Training, Hypnotherapy, Light Therapy, Naturopathic Medicine, Qigong, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.