Bulimia Signs and Symptoms

It’s important to be alert to bulimia signs in those you love and even in yourself. If symptoms of bulimia are detected early, treatment can be initiated before serious damage is done. When people with the condition do not get the treatment they need, serious health problems can and often do result, including heart problems, kidney problems and even death. Bulimia is most common in teenage and college-aged girls but can occur in both men and women of any age.

Physical Symptoms of Bulimia

Bulimia symptoms are many and varied. Some physical bulimia signs to watch for include:

Behavioral Symptoms of Bulimia

Some behavioral bulimia signs to watch for include:

Not everyone with bulimia will display all of these behaviors, and some people may demonstrate some of these behaviors even if they do not have bulimia. For instance, not all bulimic people abuse alcohol or drugs and not all alcoholics or drug addicts have bulimia. However, these are common behaviors seen in many people with the disorder.

Emotional Symptoms of Bulimia

Some emotional bulimia signs to watch for include:

What If You See Bulimia Signs?

If you notice signs of bulimia in someone you care about, you need to take prompt action. Don’t wait to see if the condition gets better; it rarely, if ever, gets better without treatment. Instead, let your friend or loved one know what you have observed and gently explain your concerns. Offer to help him or her find treatment. You cannot force someone to seek treatment if they don’t want to, but you can encourage and support them in doing so. You can also help him or her find the appropriate type of treatment if he or she is willing.

Since symptoms of bulimia include physical, emotional and behavioral problems, treatment needs to address all of these issues. Someone with bulimia needs medical care to address the physical problems but he or she also needs mental health care to address the emotional and behavioral issues. Look for a treatment center that provides comprehensive care including all of these things.

More than bulimia signs on our eating disorder statistics page

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