Bulimia Nervosa Treatment
What is bulimia nervosa?
Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder characterized by bingeing followed by compensatory behaviors (e.g., vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise). People with bulimia nervosa also have excessive concerns about body weight and shape.
What are some of the symptoms of bulimia nervosa?
People with bulimia nervosa often are very concerned with weight loss, dieting, and control of food. They may skip meals, develop food rituals, steal or hoard food, drink excessive amounts of non-caloric beverages, exercise excessively, have extreme mood swings, may withdraw from friends, and create lifestyles that accommodate binge and purge sessions. Physically, they are often normal weight or overweight, but may experience fluctuations in weight and shape.
What are some of the health consequences of bulimia nervosa?
One of the most dangerous health consequences of bulimia nervosa are the electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organ symptoms. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur without warning. Other health consequences include dental problems, dizziness, menstrual irregularities, gastrointestinal problems, sleep problems, fainting, and abnormal laboratory finding.
How do you treat bulimia nervosa?
We use Dr. Fairburn's Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Treatment to treat bulimia nervosa in late adolescents and adults. CBT is a treatment for bulimia nervosa with the strongest scientific evidence. We will work with you to implement behavioral strategies including the establishment of a regular pattern of eating, stopping binge and purge behaviors, systematic exposure to forbidden foods, create motivation for change, and challenge disturbance in the experience of shape and weight as well as the tie between personal identity and the eating disorder. We also integrate mindfulness and acceptance techniques to help you regulate emotions and disengage from eating-disordered thoughts.
What kind of training do you have in treating bulimia nervosa?
Dr. Sala has extensive training in treating bulimia nervosa, including experience at inpatient eating disorder units and a decade-long research career working with leaders in the field. Dr. Sala is the Director of the Mindfulness, Eating Disorders, and Acceptance Lab (MEAL) at Yeshiva University, where she conducts eating disorder treatment research. She received training in Family-Based Treatment for eating disorders from Stanford University and utilizes it in her work with children and adolescents.