Do you suspect that someone you love is struggling with bulimia?
Bulimia is more difficult to detect than anorexia, because the symptoms can be subtle and misleading. Additionally, those who suffer from bulimia can be extremely secretive, so that even close family members may be unaware of the condition.
Individuals with the disease can also purge more or less frequently, meaning the symptoms may be minimally disruptive to daily life. Just because someone's schedule hasn't become completely disrupted doesn't mean he or she isn't suffering from bulimia. It's important to realize that there are a wide range of symptoms and effects that can accompany the condition.
Here are some warning signs that may indicate an eating disorder:
- Binge eating: Episodes of eating large quantities of food in a short period of time, often in secret.
- Food-related guilt: Feelings of guilt and shame about eating are driving factors in this disorder, as well as a disturbed body image.
- Laxatives: Some individuals who suffer from bulimia use laxatives as a way to purge, so look for evidence of the misuse of laxatives or diuretics.
- Scarring on knuckles: Self-induced vomiting can cause scars to form on the knuckles and backs of hands.
- Self-induced vomiting: Be on the lookout for signs of purging behaviors, such as frequent trips to the bathroom after meals.
- Sore throat: Purging often causes a sore and irritated throat.
- Teeth discoloration: Frequent vomiting tends to discolor and stain the teeth.
- Weakness: Individuals suffering from bulimia may be unusually weak and struggle with energy levels because they are not receiving adequate nutrition.
- Withdrawal: Individuals might become depressed and isolate themselves from friends and family.
If you or a loved one is in need of treatment for bulimia, contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today.
Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef founded the center over 25 years ago with the mission of healing patients holistically, and the internationally renowned Dr. Pauline Powers is the head of the eating disorders program at Fairwinds. Dr. Powers has years of experience treating eating disorders, and utilizes both clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to offer patients the best possible chance for long-term recovery.