Bulimia Consultation- Dietetics/ Nutrition, Psychiatry

Bulimia consultation involves a team of health professionals. It includes a physician, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a dietitian, and a social worker. They work together to treat a condition called bulimia nervosa.

Bulimia nervosa is a mental illness. It causes alternating cycles of binge eating and purging. A person with this eating disorder eats large amounts of food at a time. Then, they feel guilty for having lost control over their eating.

In order to compensate for the binge eating, they may induce vomiting, starve themselves, or use laxatives and diuretics.

Ongoing bulimia nervosa can cause several complications. For example, stomach ulcers, excessive stomach acid, fragile bones, infertility, and abnormal heartbeats.

Diagnosis of Bulimia Nervosa

The diagnosis of bulimia nervosa can be difficult. It is because many patients hide their signs and symptoms. Moreover, their body weight is often in a healthy range. For these reasons, many cases remain undiagnosed.

When you visit your doctor, they will review your medical history and examine physical signs such as dental erosion, scarring on the knuckles, and swollen salivary glands. Besides, they may ask certain questions about your emotional health. If they suspect you have bulimia nervosa, they may order blood tests.

The blood tests measure the levels of electrolytes in the bloodstream. Besides, they may order a urine test and an electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG records electrical activities in the heart and helps diagnose problems with heartbeats.

In some cases, the doctor may insert a flexible tube, an endoscope, into your mouth. With the help of a camera in the tube, they examine the lining of the food pipe and stomach. This procedure is known as GI endoscopy.

Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa

Hospitalization is not required in most cases. Nonetheless, severe cases need to be treated in a hospital.

Treatments can include:

  • A psychotherapy treatment called Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • A medication that alters the levels of brain chemicals. 

Depending on the severity of the illness, your doctor may use a combination of CBT and the medication.



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About the Author:
Shailesh Sharma is a registered pharmacist and medical content writer from Nepal. He enjoys digging into latest findings of research and strongly believes in evidence-based health information. He graduated from Pokhara University School of Health and Allied Sciences and was engaged in clinical pharmacy and academia in various regions of Nepal for almost 9 years. Shailesh also serves as Project Manager of Graduate Pharmacists’ Association, Nepal (GPAN).