Clinical Diagnosis of Bulimia

There are a number of measures that GPs and mental health professionals use to diagnose someone with Bulimia Nervosa. These include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating; binge eating defined as:

    • Eating, in a specific period of time (e.g. within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is considerably larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances; and
    • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g. the suffer feels that they cannot stop eating or control what or how much they are eating).
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviour in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications; fasting; or excessive exercise.
  • The binge eating and purging both occur, on average, at least twice a week for 3 months.
  • Pre-occupation with body shape and weight with feelings of self worth dependent on this.
  • The disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia nervosa.