How is bulimia nervosa diagnosed?
To diagnose bulimia, a doctor will perform a physical examination and ask about medical history and symptoms. It’s okay if you’re nervous when talking to your doctor. But he wants to help you. Therefore, it is important to be honest with your doctor about your eating habits.
A doctor diagnoses bulimia if the following criteria are present:
- Do you frequently overeat?
- Do you feel out of control during a binge eating episode?
- Are you engaging in inappropriate cleaning behaviors?
- Have you overeat at least once a week for three months?
- Does your weight or body shape have a big impact on your self-image?
There is no specific test to diagnose bulimia. Your doctor may order tests to see how bulimia has affected your health. These tests include the following:
- blood test
- Kidney function test
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
How is bulimia nervosa treated?
A doctor may treat bulimia using different techniques. He or she may refer you to a team of specialists, including nutritionists and mental health professionals. Treatments can include:
Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of individual counseling that focuses on changing thinking (cognitive) and behavior (behavioral). This treatment includes techniques for developing healthy attitudes about food and weight, and also includes approaches to changing how you react to difficult situations.
Nutritional counseling: Nutrition counseling involves learning healthier ways to eat. You work with a nutritionist to get back on track.
medicine: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a type of antidepressants. They can reduce the frequency of binge eating and vomiting. But the long-term effectiveness of these drugs is not known. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are also effective in treating anxiety and depression. This condition is common among people with bulimia nervosa.