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Bulimia Nervosa - Sample Paper

Bulimia Nervosa is a life threatening eating disorder. People with this disorder tend to eat too much or rather what is referred to as binge eating followed by excessive efforts to reduce weight gain by getting rid of excess calories through harmful means. Basically, the habit is compulsive in nature and those affected will always feel a strong desire to binge only to consume close to 5,000 calories in just an hour. On realizing this, they begin to panic and drastic measures are taken to “undo” the binge, which may include inducing vomiting, fasting and excessive exercise.

The exact causes of the Bulimia Nervosa are not known, but there are a number of issues associated with the same. Our main focus will be on the biological aspects of the disorder, but a quick glance at the other aspects would also be necessary. The disorder is closely associated with genetic as well as a combination of social, environmental and cultural factors.

However, brain imaging studies, and in particular studies of brain neurotransmitter activity show that the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine play a major role in Bulimia Nervosa. This is because they are linked with the control of hunger as well as depression. Other studies have also shown that bulimic patients have high levels of cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of peptide YY. Therefore, the studies suggest that these increased levels of brain PYY activity could lead to the uncontrollable and powerful urge by bulimic patients to binge (Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research, 2010).

The disorder can have serious medical effects and therefore, there is a need for a thorough medical evaluation. Treatment options include both non-pharmacological and pharmacological methods. For instance, the use of individual therapies such as dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy help in decreasing the symptoms of bulimia nervosa. On the other hand, the use of medications such as flouxetine (Prozac) also helps in alleviating the symptoms.

References

Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research. (2010). Brain Imaging Studies. Retrieved Oct 31, 2014, from Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research: http://eatingdisorders.ucsd.edu/research/imaging/


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