Recognizing the signs and symptoms of bulimia can be very difficult, especially if you don't know a lot about the condition.
I lived with a friend for a year and I never once noticed her bulimia, so its important to educate yourself on the condition.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look for...
Eating a large quantity of food, but not gaining any noticeable weight
These are typically their Binges in which they will purge afterwards, whether through vomiting, laxatives or excessive exercise.
Going to the bathroom shortly after eating
Usually they will be going to purge (vomit).
looks or smell of vomit around the toilet, or a very clean toilet
may notice there toilet is splattered with sick, or they may have a
super clean toilet, as they are very cautious about people finding out
about their bulimia.
food in the toilet
This is usually an obvious sign if there are large lumps of food in the toilet.
calluses on backs of hands
are caused by putting the hands/fingers down their throat to induce
vomiting, they develop calluses small cuts, caused by their teeth
catching their hands.
Obsessing about weight, appearance, calories
A very obvious sign
exercising to extreme
many people suffering with eating disorders such as bulimia will
excessively exercise, not all bulimics exercise, some just use vomiting
or laxatives as a way to purge, and some just use exercise as a way to
not eating in front of people
usually won't be eating in front of people as they are trying to starve
themselves after a previous binge, or because they have anxiety eating
in front of others, and feel like their being judged.
spending a lot of money on food
stealing food, or food going missing
They may steal food from family, friends, housemates to binge on, some may go as far as stealing food from shops.
doesn't make them a bad person for stealing, its just that bulimia has
such a strong grip over a person it really can change their personality,
it is after all a mental illness.
They may also be stealing food
as they have no money left to buy food if they have spent it all on
binge food, and when a bulimic has the urge to binge they will do
whatever it takes to get that fix, much like a drug addict.
changes in weight
weight going up and down.
This is caused by the constant vomiting, and water retention.
looks tired, weak, dark circles under eyes, pale
takes a toll on your body, and can make you very weak and suffer from
nutrient deficiencies, so they will look tired, pale, have dry skin etc.
Stained teeth and acid erosion
from induced vomiting causes the enamel to wear of your teeth, long
suffering of bulimia can even cause your teeth to go black and fall out.
Eating very late at night, when every ones asleep
many bulimics their binges happen typically late at night, as they may
have been starving themselves all day, or they want to be secretive, and
wait till everyone else has gone to bed.
Bulimia takes a toll on your health and mental state, so its only inevitable that these two come with it.
In places like wardrobe, under bed, drawers, they may be saving these for a binge.
Finding Tupperware or bags filled with vomit in their room
If a bulimic doesn't have access to a toilet, they may vomit in a container, bag.
lots of empty wrappers in their bin, or in their handbag, drawers etc.
These are probably left over from a binge.
weighing themselves a lot
Bulimics are obsessed with not gaining weight, which is why they purge, so they may weigh themselves frequently.
Going to the bathroom frequently
Probably to vomit.
Popped red blood vessels around eyes
Vomiting stresses the body, and causes the red blood vessels to pop.
chewing gum a lot
Bulimics are very paranoid, that their breath may smell from vomiting, and people will notice.
Bulimia causes depression, and really makes you
feel embarrassed and self conscious, so they will often stay at home and
They may also stopped going out with friends family because they want to stay at home and binge purge.
I hope that you find these tips useful, and that you will be able to help your loved one with their Bulimia.