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
- Depression and mood swings