Eating Disorder Treatment Center

Canopy Cove of Tallahassee, Florida

Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia

What is Bulimia?

Bulimia is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by engaging in compensatory behaviors such as purging or using laxatives to prevent weight gain. A binge consists of eating an amount of food that is definitely larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances usually within a 2 hour period.

Compensatory behaviors are divided into categories: Purging and Non-purging. The purging behaviors include induced vomiting, the use of laxatives and diuretics while the non-purging behaviors involve excessive exercise and alternating periods of strict dieting or fasting.

Physical complications of Bulimia Nervosa

  • Esophageal problems (tears, bleeding, rupture)
  • Stomach injuries (inflammation of lining, rupture)
  • Intestinal injuries (ulcers, bloody stools)
  • Lung complications
  • Kidney and heart complications (kidney stones, kidney failure, uneven heart rate, heart failure)
  • Skin problems
  • Erosion of tooth enamel
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and mood swings