Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia-When to Worry

worried girl by lake

By: Magnolia Creek Staff

When working with families of women with Bulimia Nervosa, we often hear things like: “I had no idea she was struggling for a long time.” Check out the story of a former Magnolia Creek client’s experience hiding her struggle with Bulimia from her family and friends for years. Hear her family’s response, and learn more about her ensuing recovery.

Unlike Anorexia Nervosa whose symptoms are usually difficult to hide for an extended period, Bulimia Nervosa can be harder to recognize. Bulimia rarely involves significant weight loss. In fact, most people with Bulimia are at average weights. And those with Bulimia continue eating as much, if not more at times, than the average person. Boys and men are also at risk for experiencing Bulimia; it just doesn’t fit into the stereotype that is portrayed in the media when people think of someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. With much of the struggle often happening in secret, what are some of the signs and symptoms that may help you identify that additional support may be needed for your loved one?

  1. They go to the bathroom soon after eating
  2. They experience dissatisfaction with their body and may have a distorted view of the size they are
  3. They binge on food (eat large quantities) at one time
  4. They experience feelings of guilt or shame after eating
  5. They self-induce vomit.
  6. They misuse laxatives and/or diuretics
  7. They have scars on the tops of their hands or knuckles
  8. They are dehydrated or have an electrolyte imbalance frequently
  9. They experience dental complications (like erosion and cavities)
  10. They withdrawal from family and friends (especially following meals)
  11. They experience depression and/or irritability
  12. They have high blood pressure
  13. They experience sore throats on a more regular basis than the average person
  14. They engage in excessive exercise with the intent of working off at least all of the calories they consumed

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is okay to express your care and concern for your loved one. Living in secrecy is lonely and painful, but there is help available in the forms of therapy, nutrition assistance, support groups, and treatment. Recovery is possible, and no one should have to navigate this alone. To talk with someone about your concerns with a loved one or to reach out for additional support services for yourself or someone you love, you can call Magnolia Creek’s admissions team at 205-409-4220 or complete our contact form. We would be happy to support you in whatever way we can.



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