- Cultural bias toward thinness
- Changes in the level of brain chemicals
- Emotional stress
- Disturbed self-image
- Eating unusually large amounts of food at one time
- Feeling like eating is out of control
- Making yourself throw up
- Taking laxatives, enemas, water pills, or diet pills
- Exercising excessively
- Having dramatic changes in mood
- Having symptoms of depression
- Having difficulty controlling your impulses
- Abusing alcohol or drugs
- Abdominal pain and heartburn
- Menstrual problems
- Swollen cheeks and jaw
- Sore throat
- Swollen salivary glands (in the mouth and throat)
- Stained or chipped teeth (due to contact with stomach acid)
- Cuts or scars on back of hands (from scraping skin on teeth during forced vomiting)
- Dental and throat problems from stomach acid that rises during vomiting
- Changes in body chemistry and fluids due to vomiting and abuse of laxatives or water pills
- Feeling faint
- Muscle cramps
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart problems, including sudden death
- Your medical and psychological history
- The amount of food you eat
- The ways you to try to rid your body of food
- Blood tests—to look for chemical imbalances
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) —to look for heart problems due to purging
- Drug screening—to check for drug use
|Bulimia can lead to severe heart problems.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- To stop binging and purging
- To focus self-esteem away from body weight and shape
- Gain insight into the problem
- Recognize what triggers binging and purging
- Develop new coping skills
- Learn and practice stress-management techniques
- Talk about feelings
- Develop a more appropriate idea of thinness
- Develop healthier attitudes about eating
- Learn to eat regularly to reduce the urge to binge
- Maintain a rational approach to dieting and food.
- Accept a realistic body image.
- Take pride in what you do well.
- Set realistic goals.
Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional if you think:
- Your desire to be thin is getting out of control
- You may be developing an eating disorder
- If you have a friend/family member who may have bulimia, encourage this person to get help.
Bulimia Nervosa Resource Guide for Family and Friends http://www.bulimiaguide.org/
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders http://www.anad.org/
National Eating Disorders Association http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association http://www.bana.ca/
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.ontario.cmha.ca/
Bulimia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated July 17, 2012. Accessed August 28, 2012.
Bulimia nervosa fact sheet. Women's Health.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/bulimia-nervosa.cfm . Updated June 15, 2009. Accessed August 28, 2012.
Eating disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml . Accessed August 28, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -