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Bulimia Signs and Symptoms

Bulimia is the most common eating disorder, and it affects mostly young women in their twenties and beyond.  Bulimics, like anorexics, have a distorted body image, but instead of deliberate starvation, bulimics use a cycle of bingeing and purging to maintain a relatively normal body weight.  Bulimics consume a huge amount of food in a very short time and then vomit to purge the food from the system.  We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of bulimia below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia include:

  • Weight fluctuations
  • Sores or calluses on the knuckles
  • Erosion of dental enamel
  • Chronic sore or burning throat
  • Digestive problems
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Broken blood vessels on the face
  • Swollen neck
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive exercising
  • Excessive use of laxatives
  • Binge eating
  • Sneaks food or hides food in the house
  • Secretive about eating

Bulimia is nine times more likely to occur in women than men.  The average age of onset is eighteen.  Antidepressants are widely used in the treatment of bulimia.

Diagnosis of Bulimia

Bulimia is more difficult to diagnose than anorexia because bulimics are typically a normal body weight.  Bulimia is often first diagnosed by dentists because the frequent vomiting episodes erode the tooth enamel.  Because bulimics are quite successful at hiding their bingeing and purging, the disease may go unnoticed for years.  Often loved ones are the first to notice the destructive signs and symptoms of bulimia.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia

Overcoming Bulimia: Your Comprehensive, Step-By-Step Guide to Recovery (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)
Randi E. McCabe
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life
Ellen Astrachan

Bulimics on Bulimia
Maria Stavrou
Bulimia: A Guide for Family and Friends (Psychology Series)
Roberta Trattner Sherman

Bulimia Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Bulimia . com

Eating disorders information, eating disorder therapist directory, anorexia nervosa, free rrticles on eating disorders, bulimia and anorexia nervosa, binge eating, and more.

  • Help Guide . org

Are you or a loved one struggling with bulimia? Explore the signs and symptoms, review the causes and effects, and learn about treatment and recovery.

  • Eating Disorders

Bulimia Resources – Resources for Bulimia – Eating Disorder Resouces and Articles.

  • Bulimia Treatment

Find bulimia treatment centers listed in an easy to use searchable directory. Also, resources and information for those looking for information about bulimia treatment.

  • NHS Choices

Everything you need to know about Bulimia including causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, with links to other useful resources.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment and coping with this eating disorder.

  • Pub Med Health

Reviews causes, incidence, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, prognosis and complications.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.