Bulimia Symptoms
Bulimia nervosa, commonly referred to as just bulimia, is an eating disorder that involves recurrent episodes of binge eating, in which a person quickly eats an objectively large quantity of food, followed by purging behaviors to “get rid of” the food. Purging can take several different forms, including vomiting, excessively exercising, taking laxatives or diuretics, or fasting.  However, bingeing and purging aren’t the only symptoms of bulimia—and since these behaviors tend to happen in secret, it’s important to be aware of other red flags. Read on to learn more about the different bulimia symptoms a person might experience.
What are the signs and symptoms of bulimia?As with treatment for all eating disorders, bulimia treatment begins by normalizing eating habits, reducing disordered behaviors, and achieving weight restoration if necessary. Taking these steps first is essential, as it’s nearly impossible to make real progress or address any underlying issues while you’re still actively engaging in harmful behaviors and dealing with potential malnourishment.
  • Eating large amounts of food very quickly with a feeling of losing control (binge eating)
  • Evidence of binge eating, including large amounts of food disappearing in short periods of time, or empty food containers and wrappers
  • “Making up for” binges with compensatory behaviors like vomiting, excessively exercising, taking laxatives or diuretics, or fasting (purging)
  • Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of laxatives or diuretics
  • Avoiding eating around others or being seen eating 
  • Frequently skipping meals
  • Fasting or dieting between binges
Recovery is possible
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that has the potential to become life-threatening if left ignored, but can be fully treated with evidence-based care.  If you’ve noticed some or all of the symptoms above and are concerned that you or a loved one may be struggling with bulimia, it’s important to get help promptly. While it’s possible to achieve full recovery no matter how long someone has been struggling with bulimia, getting treatment sooner rather than later makes the recovery process easier and is associated with better outcomes. At Equip, most patients see reduced bulimia symptoms soon after beginning treatment. 
Take the next step
Learn more about bulimia treatment at Equip or to schedule a free consultation.