Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by the cycle of binge eating and self-induced vomiting to undo the effects of the binging. According to National Eating Disorders. Org, bulimia affects 1-2% of adolescent and young adult women, and approximately 80% of bulimia patients are female. This eating disorder can be is very serious and life threatening because it is excessively harmful to the body. However, possibilities of recovery are good if it is detected early. There are many symptoms and warning signs to be aware of and to watch out for. Symptoms include an out of control feeling while binge eating, frequent episodes of consuming large amounts of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, body image and self-esteem issues.
Medical complications can occur from living with bulimia. Some of these effects include: chronic sore throat, broken blood vessels in the eyes, dizziness, tooth decay, acid reflux, mouth sores, loss of menstruation, chronic constipation, ulcers, ruptured esophagus, abdominal pain, and swelling of hands and feet.
Signs of Bulimia Nervosa
- Discoloration, staining and decay of teeth
- Binge eating in short periods of time
- Evidence of purging behavior i.e. vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics
- Calluses on back of hands and knuckles from self-induced vomiting
- Swelling of cheeks and jaw area
- Excessive exercise regimen
- Continued exercise despite injury
- Withdrawal from usual social activities
- Normal weight or slightly overweight (not underweight)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy that targets the eating behaviors and negative thoughts that fuel them.