BulimiaBulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder diagnosed when a person binges on food or overeats large amounts of food in short periods of time and then purges, or removes the food by the use of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, excessive exercise or vomiting.

Bulimic binges may occur as rarely as a few times a year or as often as several times a day. Once the person who suffers from bulimia binges, he or she usually feels a strong sense of guilt, or a feeling of not being in control. These uncomfortable feelings usually lead to purging, which seems to give the person a temporary sense of relief.

Many people who suffer from bulimia have also suffered from other eating disorders like anorexia or binge eating (without purging) at some point in life. Individuals with Bulimia come in every shape and size, but they often perceive themselves as being overweight.

Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia

  • Leaving the table quickly after meals, often going to the bathroom or isolating self
  • Pattern of anger or hatred about his or her body
  • Overachieving or perfectionist behavior, wanting to be the “good girl” or “top man”
  • Laxatives and diuretics may be stored in various places around the house
  • The person becomes ravenously hungry and binge eats on occasion
  • The person has acid reflux, a sore throat or rotten teeth, particularly in the back of the mouth (due to regurgitation of stomach acid)
  • Frequent weighing, checking mirrors or changing clothes
  • Hair loss, skin rashes or breakouts
  • Stomach and gastrointestinal problems that may lead to ulceration or internal bleeding

The Serious Dangers of Bulimia

Bulimia can be life threatening. If you or a loved one suffers from bulimia, look for these dangerous symptoms:

  • Vomiting or defecating blood
  • Rotten or severely damaged teeth (an indication that the esophagus is equally damaged)
  • Painful swallowing or bleeding that may indicate that stomach acid has eaten away at the esophagus, which can cause immediate, painful death
  • Hair loss or skin lesions
  • Excessive diarrhea or severe constipation that can be indicative of an impaction or damaged colon
  • Dehydration or electrolyte imbalances which can lead to immediate cardiac arrest or heart attack

What Causes Bulimia?

Scientists do not know the exact cause of bulimia. In most cases, each individual person is different. Some things that may lead to bulimia include genetic factors, a history of trauma, an ongoing struggle with weight loss, society, culture or family factors.

Bulimia Help

If you worry that you or a loved one might suffer from bulimia, there is hope. Bulimia is treatable, but it is important to treat bulimia under the supervision of a medical doctor and with the aid of a good counselor. You don’t have to treat bulimia alone, and studies show that the more help you have, the more success you will achieve. We offer a toll free 24-hour helpline to help you learn more about your options for treatment, find support and begin a better future. To learn more, please give us a call; we are here to help.

(866) 612-7509