Bulimia nervosa is a very serious eating disorder that affects people of both genders of all ages. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that stems from an intense fear of gaining weight. Someone with bulimia will overeat and then find a way to quickly expel the food from their body whether it be through vomiting or through excessive use of laxatives or both. It can be life threatening and recognizing the symptoms of an eating disorder such as bulimia nervosa requires immediate treatment and care to prevent further complications. There are many signs and symptoms of bulimia nervosa. Listed below are some things to watch out for when someone is dealing with bulimia nervosa.
1. Finding food wrappers hidden around the house. One sign of bulimia nervosa is to find food wrappers hidden around the house or apartment. These can also be found at someone’s desk at work. Since bulimia involves someone eating large amounts of food, there will be signs of large amounts of food missing. The person experiencing bulimia will likely be overeating in an emotional binge and this is often done alone. They will then feel shamed and guilty and attempt to hide this food binge by hiding the wrappers and throwing away large quantities of food wrappers and bags. They will also immediately find a way to expel the food from their bodies due to their extreme fear of gaining weight.
2. Hearing someone throw up their food. If you hear a friend or loved one throwing up in the bathroom immediately after a meal, then this is a sign of bulimia and should be further investigated. If they are doing this often, then they likely have an eating disorder and need help. Signs of this include someone always leaving the dinner table immediately after eating and going to the bathroom. It may be helpful to follow them into the bathroom if it is a public place and listen for signs of bulimia before confronting them or asking them to get help.
3. Loads of exercise. Another common occurrence of someone with an eating disorder includes the obsessive need to exercise. As experienced with anorexia as well, over exercising is a common sign of an eating disorder and shows that someone needs treatment. The obsessive need to exercise stems from overeating and then feeling the need to get rid of those calories. It can even happen after someone purges by vomiting or using laxatives. They may still feel like they have absorbed some of those calories already and need to work them off as quickly as possible.
4. Physical signs. There are physical signs of bulimia as well. The act of vomiting after meals causes an acid backwash to severely affect one’s esophagus and mouth. This stomach acid can also cause someone’s teeth to become stained or discolored. They may also experience swelling of the cheeks. Extreme weight loss is also common with bulimia nervosa.
These are some signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect that someone you know is bulimic. It is important to have them seek help and treatment so that further complications do not arise.