Bulimia Symptoms and Signs

Bulimia can be difficult to recognize, since binging and purging behavior often takes place in secrecy. Also, unlike those with anorexia, individuals with bulimia usually maintain a weight that is relative to their height.

Specialized eating disorder treatment professionals, such as those at Walden, are trained to detect the physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms that distinguish bulimia from other medical conditions, and offer proper treatment and recovery recommendations.

Physical Symptoms of Bulimia

Physical signs and symptoms of bulimia may include:

  • Dental issues, including tooth decay, chipped teeth, or stained or yellow teeth
  • Swelling of cheeks, mouth, or jaw
  • Calluses on hands and knuckles
  • Mouth sores
  • Changing voice
  • Cardiac issues
  • Menstruation disturbances
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Weight fluctuation

Behavioral and Emotional Symptoms of Bulimia

Behavioral symptoms of bulimia may include:

  • Eating excessive amounts of food
  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Abuse of laxatives and diuretics
  • Excessive exercising
  • Extreme fluid intake

Emotional symptoms of bulimia may include:

  • Depression, anxiety
  • Extreme fear of gaining weight
  • Low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with one’s appearance
  • Social withdrawal
  • A lack of self-control
  • Denial of binging, purging and other harmful behavior

Other Red Flags

Other warning signs of bulimia include:

  • Disappearance of food in a short period of time
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom after meals
  • Presence of food wrappers or containers
  • Eating meals in secrecy
  • Creation of lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge-and-purge sessions.
  • Physical signs or smells of vomiting
  • General behavior and attitude indicating that weight loss, dieting and control of food are becoming primary concerns.

Some of these signs may also result from other medical or psychological conditions. A specialized medical professional can properly diagnose symptoms.

Regain Your Life. Walden Can Help.

If you are concerned that you – or a loved one – may have an eating disorder, we are here to help. Please call 781-647-6727 to speak with a Walden eating disorders intake specialist, or complete the form on this page, to start the road to recovery.

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