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Bulimia Nervosa Treatment


St. Joseph’s Adolescent Medicine Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona is specialized in the treatment of bulimia nervosa in teenagers.

Bulimia nervosa, usually referred to as bulimia, includes uncontrolled episodes of overeating (binging), usually followed by purging. Purging may include self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives or medications that cause increased production of urine, fasting or excessive exercise to control weight.

Causes Of Bulimia In Teens

While the cause of bulimia is not known, there are several factors that are believed to be contributors to the disease. These include cultural ideals and social attitudes toward body appearance, self-evaluation based on body weight and shape as well as family problems.

Symptoms Of Bulimia In Adolescents

There are several common symptoms that may indicate an adolescent is suffering from bulimia, including:

  • A normal or low body weight, but they see themselves as overweight
  • Reoccurring episodes of binge eating coupled with fearful feelings of not being able to stop eating during the bingeing episodes
  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Excessive fasting
  • Excessive exercising
  • Peculiar eating habits or rituals
  • Inappropriate use of laxatives
  • Irregular or an absence of a menstrual cycle
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Scarring on the back of the fingers from the process of self-induced vomiting
  • Overachieving behaviors

Treatment of Bulimia

Bulimia is usually treated with a combination of individual therapy, family therapy, behavior modification and nutritional rehabilitation.

St. Joseph’s Adolescent Medicine Clinic’s team includes an adolescent medicine physician, counselor and dietitian specialized in the treatment of eating disorders. Treatment is based on an evaluation of the adolescent and their family. If the child with bulimia is also depressed, medication may be helpful. Parents also play a very important role in the treatment process by providing support.

If medical complications related to weight loss and malnutrition arise, hospitalization at St. Joseph’s may be required.

Learn More About The Adolescent Medicine Clinic

To learn more about how St. Joseph’s Adolescent Medicine Clinic can help, call 602.406.7564.