Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia

These are some of the common signs and symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa. Not everyone will suffer from all of them. If you find yourself experiencing some of these symptoms, it is worth asking yourself whether you might have a problem. The earlier you seek help, the better the outcome for recovery.

  • Persistent preoccupation with eating and irresistible cravings for food.
  • Cravings for food and compulsions to binge, which result in episodes of overeating large amounts of food which are consumed in a short period of time. These binges often take place in secret and are often ‘planned’ for when the sufferer knows they will be alone.
  • Purging or efforts to control weight by induced vomiting after eating, abusing laxatives or diuretics and sometimes periods of starvation or restriction of food in order to counteract the effects of bingeing. Sometime excessive exercise is another form of weight control.
  • Fear of obesity or getting fat, which is also present in people with anorexia nervosa. There is often some overlap between these eating disorders.
  • Sufferers often feel fat and dissatisfied with their physical appearance.
  • Avoidance of fattening foods and efforts to restrict, however bulimia sufferers are preoccupied with food and eating.
  • Fluctuations in weight although most sufferers of bulimia are not underweight like those suffering from anorexia nervosa and hence the illness can go unnoticed for much longer.
  • Some patients with bulimia live with the illness for years, often feeling too ashamed to seek help.