Bulimia Nervosa is a serious eating disorder that can involve both body image distortions and the compulsive desire to lose weight. Bulimia Nervosa is often characterized by cycles of binge eating followed by purging either through vomiting, excessive exercise, or the misuse of diuretics.
Developing Bulimia Nervosa is not limited by race or ethnicity, and can occur in all ages for both males and females. Recent studies have indicated however, that Bulimia Nervosa is more prone to affect females than males, despite being able to manifest in both sexes. Moreover, a prominent risk factor for developing Bulimia Nervosa is age, as Bulimia Nervosa is more commonly found in teenagers and young adults.
A typical onset for Bulimia Nervosa has been demonstrated in previous studies to be between the ages of 17 to 21 years. In addition, early onset Bulimia Nervosa has been observed in adolescents 15 years and younger. Research suggests that early onset Bulimia Nervosa due to cultural stress has a higher loading on risk factors than typical onset individuals. Deliberate self-harm and symptoms of depression among relatives is also statistically higher in individuals with early onset Bulimia Nervosa.
As a mental health disorder, Bulimia Nervosa’s risk factors are made worse by symptoms of social anxiety and low self-esteem. Individuals that observe their health declining due to negative self-evaluations of their body image are encouraged to seek professional help in order to prevent the development of eating disorders such as Bulimia Nervosa. It is also important to mention that having a risk factor for Bulimia Nervosa does not necessarily indicate that an individual will develop the disorder. A risk factor increases the probability of getting the condition relative to someone without those risk factors. It is also important to note that some risk factors are more significant than others.
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