Bulimia nervosa; Binge-purge behavior; Eating disorder - bulimia
In bulimia, eating binges may occur as often as several times a day for many months.
People with bulimia often eat large amounts of high-calorie foods, usually in secret. People can feel a lack of control over their eating during these episodes.
Binges lead to self-disgust, which causes purging to prevent weight gain. Purging may include:
- Forcing oneself to vomit
- Excessive exercise
- Use of laxatives, enemas, or diuretics (water pills)
Purging often brings a sense of relief.
People with bulimia are often at a normal weight, but they may see themselves as being overweight. Because the person's weight is often normal, other people may not notice this eating disorder.
Symptoms can include:
- Compulsive exercise
- Throwing away packages of laxatives, diet pills, emetics (drugs that cause vomiting), or diuretics
- Regularly going to the bathroom right after meals
- Suddenly eating large amounts of food or buying large amounts of food that disappear right away
Signs and tests
A dental exam may show
A physical examination may also show:
- Broken blood vessels in the eyes (from the strain of vomiting)
- Dry mouth
- Pouch-like look to the corners of the mouth due to swollen salivary glands
- Rashes and pimples
- Small cuts and calluses across the tops of the finger joints from forcing oneself to vomit