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Bulimia Nervosa - Cause

The cause of bulimia is not clear, but it probably results from a combination of genetics, family behaviors, social values (such as admiring thinness), and other things that can put someone at risk (such as perfectionism).

Your risk for bulimia increases if your parent, sister, or brother has the condition. But family history may be only part of the cause.

Stressful life events such as moving, divorce, or the death of a loved one can trigger bulimia in some people.

Many young women, such as those in college or high school, have unhealthy attitudes toward eating and toward their bodies. Socially, they may accept and encourage destructive behaviors like extreme dieting or binge eating and purging. These beliefs and behaviors are not normal or healthy. They can play a part in developing eating disorders that need treatment. Women who begin to severely restrict their diets in order to lose weight are at risk for bulimia.

Bulimia, like all eating disorders, is a complex physical and psychological condition. Recovery requires treatment that helps you change your behavior and also deals with the deeper attitudes and feelings that cause you to binge and purge.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 11, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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