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Bulimia Symptoms & Warning Signs

If you or someone you know is engaging in binge/purge behavior, you should be aware that there are very serious health risks and complications that can occur as a result of this eating disorder. That’s why 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 requires the support of a multidisciplinary team of medical, dietary and therapeutic specialists.

We 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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