Let’s talk about the early warning signs of bulimia. We’ll preface it by saying that treatment at any stage of an eating disorder is encouraged—and we’re here to help. No matter where you are, recovery is possible.
As you read through the symptoms below, be honest with yourself. Consider whether or not you recognize these behaviors in your own actions, no matter how minor. If you do, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
What is Bulimia?
Before we dive into the first symptoms you may spot in yourself or a loved one who struggles with bulimia, let’s clearly define this eating disorder.
Bulimia is diagnosed when a person regularly engages in binge eating, followed by an extreme approach to reduce the calories they just ingested. After a prolonged period, bulimia can cause all sorts of health problems, including disruption of regular bodily functions, heart issues, dehydration, and more.
5 Early Warning Signs of Bulimia
Let’s look at the signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for in yourself and your loved ones, shared by WebMd. (1)
Preoccupation with food: A person headed toward bulimia may show signs of food obsession. This can look like hoarding food, developing food rituals, skipping meals, and binging.
Concern about weight: Bulimia often occurs in people who worry about their body image. They may weigh themselves multiple times a day, dominate conversations with talk about their own weight or the weight of others, or be overly protective about people noticing their body.
Engaging in secretive behavior: Both binging and purging will usually be conducted alone. Someone with bulimia may slip away from a gathered group more than usual, spend more time in their room alone or simply not join others for outings like they used to do.
Vacillating emotions: The behaviors of binging and purging can induce strong emotions. A person in the early stages of bulimia may wrestle with intense feelings of shame followed by a strong sense of relief. And the cycle begins again during the next binging and purging period.
Doctors typically diagnose bulimia after three months of binging and purging at least twice a week. If you or someone you love is struggling with bulimia, treatment is possible, and help is available. Find the location nearest you today.