How to Recognize the Warning Signs of Bulimia in a Loved One

Margarita FolkPosted by

Often times with eating disorders including bulimia nervosa, the condition is not diagnosed and treatment is not obtained because the majority of people who suffer from these illnesses are in denial or unwilling to admit that they have a problem and hide their unhealthy eating behaviors from their loved ones.

Typically the disorder is not diagnosed until the individual seeks treatment for another serious health condition which the illness has caused, or when a friend or family member notices there is a problem and encourages them to get medical help.

The eating disorder of bulimia nervosa is a serious psychological illness which can cause irreversible damage to the body and can be fatal. Recognizing the signs of bulimia in a loved one and encouraging them to obtain professional help for their disorder increases their chances for successful treatment.

Common Warning Signs of Bulimia

A person who is bulimic will binge eat which is essentially consuming excessive amounts of food in a short period of time. As an example, a bulimic may drive from one fast food restaurant to another ordering full size meals and consuming them in a relatively short amount of time or raid refrigerators and cabinets of large amounts of food to be consumed all in one sitting.

Indications that your loved one may be suffering from bulimia include keeping their eating habits a secret, never eating around other people, and hiding or hoarding food around the house. Other indications include when they are sneaking food in which case you may discover large amounts of food missing from your cabinets or refrigerator.

Physical Signs of Bulimia

Bulimics may frequently talk about their weight and body image and their need to diet. You may notice that their weight fluctuates in a rapid manor losing or gaining in large amounts at a time. Physical symptoms may also include dry or loose skin, mouth sores or sore gums, tooth decay or erosion of the tooth enamel, salivary glands which are swollen, dull or thinning hair, bloating, and a low level of energy.

When a person with bulimia purges they will often do this by self-induced vomiting of which you may see visible signs of teeth marks on the back of their hands or calluses which have formed on the knuckles.

Psychological Signs

Individuals with bulimia often times are depressed and have anxiety or guilt. The depression in some individuals with an eating disorder causes them to have suicidal feelings or thoughts. If you notice that that a loved one is becoming withdrawn, talks about or is preoccupied with death or dying, it is essential that you seek professional help immediately. Substance abuse which includes alcohol and drugs are also common among people with bulimia. Some bulimics will resort to shop lifting for laxatives, diuretics, and food.

Other Signs of Bulimia

The misuse or overuse of diuretics and laxatives is also a warning sign of bulimia. Over exercising or constantly being preoccupied with exercising is also prevalent in individuals who have an eating disorder.

It is estimated that seventy percent of patients who are diagnosed with bulimia in its early stages experience a full recovery with no recurring symptoms of bulimia. It is essential if you notice any of these warning signs in a loved one that you attempt to get them help by seeking an immediate professional medical assessment.


Source by Anne Ahira