Everything you need to know about the treatment of bulimia

Bulimia nervosa is a potentially life-threatening and a serious type of eating disorder. People with bulimia tend to eat large amounts of food and then eventually puke the same, to get rid of the extra calories in a toxic way. For example, some people diagnosed with bulimia may engage in excessive exercise or even force vomiting. This may go to an extreme level of throwing up any food that is consumed.

Treatment of bulimia

When you are diagnosed with bulimia, you may have to undergo treatment which are of different kinds. The most effective treatment for bulimia is combining psychotherapy with antidepressants.

The treatment of bulimia follows a team of doctors which may include your family doctor, primary doctor, mental health care provider and a dietician.

Below are some options to consider for treatment of bulimia

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling that involves having a discussion with a mental health doctor regarding your bulimia and related issues. These types of psychotherapies have helped in the improvement of the symptoms of bulimia:

  • Cognitive behavior therapy
    Cognitive behavior helps one to identify the unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and eventually, replace them with positive and healthy ones.
  • Family-based therapy
    Family-based therapy is a therapy in which parents are involved to stop and restrict their teenager’s unhealthy eating behavior. Also, they help the teenagers regain control and confidence in themselves. Bulimia can have an impact on teen’s development and family as well, which is also treated in this therapy by dealing with family problems.
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
    Interpersonal psychotherapy aids in addressing difficulties in your close relationships. It also helps in improving problem-solving and communication skills as well.
    You can also seek advice as to which psychotherapy suits you the best and which has an existential evidence that it has been effective in the treatment of bulimia.


When used along with psychotherapy, antidepressants may help reduce the symptoms of bulimia. Fluoxetine (Prozac) is the only antidepressant which is particularly approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the treatment of bulimia. Fluoxetine (Prozac) is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which may prove to be of great help even if you are not depressed.

Nutrition education and maintaining a healthy weight

Dieticians and similar health care providers can design an eating plan that consists of a proper intake that helps you maintain a healthy weight, good nutrition, and normal eating habits as well. A medically supervised weight-loss programme can be of great help for the treatment of bulimia.

Bulimia can usually be treated outside the hospital. However, some may have severe symptoms and condition along with serious health complications. In such cases, you may need treatment of bulimia in the hospital. Some eating disorder programmes provide day treatment so that the patient regains control over their eating disorder.

Treatment challenges in bulimia
Most of the people with bulimia do recover. However, some may observe that their symptoms don’t go away entirely. Depending on your life circumstances, binge eating and puking may fluctuate. If you find yourself back in the binge-purge cycle, talking sessions with your healthcare provider will prove to be of great help and aid you to bounce back from the situation.