Exercise Bulimia

Ask the Expert

Q:

What is exercise bulimia?


A:

In the eating disorder known as bulimia, a person consumes excessive amounts of calories and then gets rid of those calories by vomiting and/or taking laxatives. With exercise bulimia, calories are also consumed in large quantities, but they are purged through excessive exercise.

Dangerous consequences may occur from exercising too much: musculoskeletal injuries, dehydration, osteoporosis and a possible halting of the menstrual cycle. Exercise is excessive when it becomes like an obsession—you plan your life around the exercise, continue to exercise with an injury, exercise for hours at a time or skip important prior commitments to get a workout in.

If you think you may have exercise bulimia, or are exercising excessively, talk with your health care professional or seek help from a therapist.

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