Non-purging bulimia is a type of bulimia nervosa (BN) in which excessive exercise or fasting follows binge episodes to compensate for food consumed, instead of self-induced vomiting. Using diet pills is another option.
People who have bulimia consume large amounts of food over a short period of time with no self-control and then purge the food by vomiting, exercising excessively, fasting, or using laxatives, diuretics, or appetite restriction medication. They have a negative body image and are obsessed with their body weight and shape.
The differences between purging and non purging bulimia are as follows:
There are many signs of non-purging bulimia, including: (1,2)
Like other eating disorders and mental health conditions, non-purging bulimia is very complex with many risk factors and co-occurring conditions, such as childhood trauma, dysfunctional personal relationships and family dynamics, anxiety, and depression. Non-purging bulimia is best addressed with a comprehensive treatment plan with a multidisciplinary approach that can include psychotherapy, medical care to address medical complications, nutrition therapy, movement therapy, and experiential therapies. Treatment programs are individualized to suit each person’s needs.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of psychotherapy that can be effective for non-purging bulimia. One study found a full remission rate of 35.5% with this type of group therapy over the course of 22 weekly sessions.(3) However, there are other therapies that have had positive outcomes in treating eating disorders.
Experiential treatments for bulimia can help a person heal by getting them out of their mind and into their body. They include:
Always remember it’s not your fault. An eating disorder can be a way to cope with difficult feelings or situations and society’s sometimes unrealistic expectations about appearance. But there are healthier ways to deal with hard things. An individualized treatment plan can help you learn how to love your body and how to feel good about yourself and how to have a healthy relationship with food, eating, movement, yourself, and others. These are some things treatment for eating disorders will address.
Many programs have high success rates. (11) Asking for help if you think you or someone you love may be struggling with an eating disorder is not easy. But help is available. Reach out to our team today to learn more about our virtual program.