Bulimia nervosa, commonly known as bulimia, is an eating disorder characterized by an attempt to lose an unreasonable amount of weight without any meaningful weight loss. It is usually characterized by binging and purging, but this is not the distinction between anorexia and bulimia.
The criteria for diagnosing bulimia nervosa is quite similar to that of anorexia nervosa, except a person will not have lost a lot of weight if they are bulimic.
Bulimia is often accompanied by a cycle of binging and purging. However, binging and purging is not a required part of the diagnosis of bulimia. Bulimia nervosa is only diagnosed based on whether a person has lost a significant amount of weight or not. It's possible for an anorexic person to binge and purge, and it's also possible for a bulimic person to not binge and purge.
Binging and purging
Binging and purging refers to two actions commonly done by bulimic patients.
Binging is the act of eating copious amounts of food at once. Purging is the act of intentionally causing oneself to vomit in order to "purge" the food they had just binge-eaten.
When a bulimia patient binges and purges, it is cyclical and compulsive. They are hooked on binging and purging, and in terms of food intake and "outtake", they are out of control.