Definitions & Profiles

Profile of Binge/Purge Eating

    Purging type: during the current episode of bulimia nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. Self-induced vomiting, the most common means of purging, is used by more than 75 percent of patients with bulimia nervosa, and most patients vomit immediately or soon after a binge. During the binge, they commonly drink excessive fluids to "float the food" and facilitate regurgitation.
    Vomiting is induced by stimulation of the pharynx using a finger or a narrow object such as a toothbrush. Some patients describe the learned ability to vomit by pressure or contraction of the abdominal muscles. A minority of patients develop reflux following the consumption of virtually any amount of food or fluid.