The hardest part of getting a loved one treatment for an eating disorder is recognizing that there is even an issue in the first place. Because people don't go around and announce when there is a problem, it is up to you to be on the lookout if you think that something is up. There are nearly 10 million Americans who suffer from some kind of eating disorder, whether that is anorexia or bulimia.
As long as you are vigilant, you will be able to recognize the signs of bulimia in somebody that you care about. Most times, a person with bulimia will not seek the treatment that they need until they are confronted and encouraged to visit a professional. That is why it is important for everybody to be aware of the potential signals that somebody is bulimic, as this knowledge can help you stop the problem in its track before it gets out of control.
Here are a few warning signs that someone may suffer from bulimia
- Extremity weakness: Bulimia can have a detrimental effect on many areas of the body, from bone density to dental health. Bulimics tend to have weakness in their extremities, so if the person tends to feel cold in their feet or has difficulty lifting items, bulimia could be the root cause.
- Feelings of shame: When somebody with bulimia eats, they generally feel a sense of shame or guilt afterwards. While this can be difficult to recognize in another person, keep tabs on how they interact with others after a meal. Bulimics tend to pull away from friends and family after eating.
- Repeated binge eating: While bulimics do not keep most of their food down, they tend to eat a lot of it in a short amount of time. Binge-eating an extreme amount of food in two hours or less is a major sign of bulimia, so be sure to keep an eye on the eating habits of the person you are concerned about.
- Self-induced vomiting: Of course, the most common sign that people associate with bulimia is self-induced vomiting. This will become especially apparent after a binge-eating experience, so you should track where your loved one goes after finishing their meal. If the first stop is the bathroom, there could be an issue.
If you or somebody you know is in need of treatment, contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today. Founded by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef in 1989, our treatment centers have used a unique dual diagnosis approach — with Dr. Pauline Powers combining clinical treatment with therapeutic counseling — to uncover and treat the psychological triggers behind eating disorders, helping patients to overcome their eating disorder and get their life back on track.