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Suffering and Warning Signs of Bulimia

Who suffers from bulimia nervosa?

     As with anorexia, bulimia typically begins during adolescence. The condition occurs most often in women, but is also found in men. Many people who suffer from bulimia "binge and purge" in secret. They may maintain normal or above normal body weight. Others may experience significant weight fluctuations. Bulimia can occur in those with anorexia nervosa or it can occur as a separate condition. The chances for recovery increase the earlier bulimia nervosa is detected.

What are some of the warning signs of bulimia?

     The binge-purge cycle may be accompanied by self-deprecating thoughts, depression, and an awareness that the eating is abnormal and out of control. Bulimia may be present when a person frequently shows some of the following warning sings.

* Evidence of binge-eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or the existence of wrappers and containers indicating the consumption of large amounts of food.

* Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics.

* Excessive, rigid exercise regimen-the feeling to "burn off" calories taken in despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury.

* Unusual swelling of the cheeks or jaw area

* Calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles from self-induced vomiting.

* Discoloration or staining of the teeth.

* Creation of complex lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge-and-purge sessions.

* Withdrawal from usual friends and activities.

* In general, behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns.

A person with Bulimia may:

* Become very secretive about food, spend a lot of time thinking about and planning the next binge
* Take repeated trips to the bathroom, particularly after eating
* Steal food or hoard it in strange places
* Engage in compulsive exercising

     If an individual is displaying any of these characteristics, they should be taken to a physician, nutritionist, or other professional with expertise in diagnosing eating disorders.

Related Links
Body Changes
Anorexia Nervosa
    Defining Anorexia
    Cause & Treatment
    Warning Signs
    Help & Information
Bulimia Nervosa
    Treatment & Information
Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified (ENDOS)