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Bulimia Symptoms & Warning Signs

If you or someone you know is engaging in bulimic behavior (binging or purging or both), you should be aware that there are very serious health risks and complications linked to bulimia.

We encourage you to be aware of the symptoms and warning signs for bulimia.

Common bulimia symptoms include:

  • Bingeing more than once/week
  • Purging more than once/week (self-induced vomiting; laxative, diet pill and/or diuretic abuse; exercise; chewing and spitting of food; insulin misuse)
  • Bradycardia and orthostasis (a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down)
  • Low normal to abnormal labs; can include electrolyte abnormalities
  • Swelling of the cheeks or jaw area
  • Calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles (from self-induced vomiting)
  • Discolored or stained teeth (sometimes called "bulimia teeth")

Common warning signs of bulimia include:

  • Consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time (bingeing)
  • Use of behaviors to compensate for calories consumed, including purging (making yourself vomit), restricting/fasting, over-exercising or using laxatives, diuretics, ipecac syrup or enemas
  • Evidence of binges, including disappearance of large amounts of food or appearance of wrappers/packaging
  • Evidence of purging, including trips to the bathroom during or after meals, packaging of laxatives or diuretics, rigid adherence to exercise schedules, etc.
  • Feeling “out of control” or shame over how much you eat
  • Fear of gaining weight or being “fat”
  • Self-esteem and self-worth tied heavily to body shape and weight
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and “normal” activities/routines
  • Failing performance in work, school and athletic engagements

Specialized treatment for bulimia

Bingeing and purging is an isolating, secretive illness that prevents you from enjoy a full and rewarding life.

Recovery from bulimia is possible but it will require the support of a multidisciplinary team of medical, dietary and therapeutic specialists.

Our eating disorder treatment centers have helped patients from around the world receive the treatment they need — and deserve — to break the vicious cycle of bingeing and purging.

Please call us today at 877-825-8584 to speak with an Eating Recovery Center Masters-level clinician. Together we can help you recover your life and enjoy a bright future.

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Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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