1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
Bulimia nervosa is one of the most common eating disorders. The disease manifests in episodes of binge eating, accompanied by attempts to get rid of the food eaten by vomiting, taking laxatives, exercising, or reducing food and calorie intake during other meals, along with excessive concerns, regarding weight and appearance. The disease is more common in the Western culture, among women, especially among younger aged (usually beginning in late adolescence). The onset of the disease is influenced by biological and environmental factors. Due to laxative use, hypokalemia and arrhythmias may develop; due to vomiting – enamel damage and voice changes. Bulimia nervosa is diagnosed, if, during the last 3 months, the patient had at least 1 episode of binge eating per week, accompanied by compensatory actions (vomiting, taking laxatives, exercising, or reducing food and calorie intake during other meals). Treatment is started with psychotherapy, if it does not help or the patient is additionally diagnosed with depression, SSRI or SNRI treatment is added. 80% of treated patients achieve remission of the disease.
Aim: to determine the epidemiology, etiology, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, and prognosis of bulimia nervosa.
Methods: a systematic review of the literature was performed using the PubMed medical database. Selected articles examining the etiology, epidemiology, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, and prognosis of bulimia nervosa. English word combinations were used for search: bulimia nervosa, eating disorder, bulimia, bulimia diagnostics, bulimia treatment.
Conclusions: after systematic literature review was conducted, the epidemiology, etiology, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, and prognosis of bulimia nervosa were presented.
Keywords: bulimia nervosa, eating disorders, bulimia, psychiatry.