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Tell tale signs of bulimia nervosa

Understanding and admitting that you have a problem with Bulimia is the first vital step towards seeking help and obtaining the appropriate treatment for the eating disorder. This is, in itself, an important milestone, and we appreciate how difficult it can be. For many, feelings of denial and shame often hinder early intervention, and in some cases lack of understanding of the symptoms that accompany Bulimia, can result in the condition going undiagnosed unnecessarily.

Tell tale signs of Bulimia Nervosa

The symptoms of Bulimia are largely focused around unhealthy eating patterns including bingeing (overeating in a short time) and purging (vomiting, exercising or using laxatives). When considering your own or a loved ones current eating habits, self esteem and lifestyle choices, do any of these issues apply?

Eating Patterns

  • Preoccupation with food, only eating foods which are considered ‘safe’ – for example, healthy foods that are low in fat and sugar. If eating something ‘forbidden’ or ‘bad’ - for example, sugary or fatty snacks and desserts, the resulting feeling is that you have ‘blown it’ and will then binge on more of those forbidden foods.
  • Refraining from eating ‘forbidden’ or ‘bad’ foods in the company of others, while spending a great portion of your time battling an overwhelming urge to binge on food.
  • Finding it impossible to stop once you have tasted a ‘forbidden’ food?
  • Fearful of putting on weight to the point that you feel compelled to rid yourself of the food – and, importantly, the calories. You may purge in one or a number of ways – for example, vomiting, exercising, restricting your future food intake or taking laxatives.
  • Feeling out of control due to the constant cycle of bingeing and purging?

Body Image

Are you or a loved one;

  • Obsessing about your clothing size, your weight and the shape of your body? Do you monitor your weight very closely – weighing yourself frequently and worrying if your weight goes up by even the tiniest amount?
  • Avoiding certain social situations or activities because of how you feel about your body?
  • Spending a lot of time, effort or money trying to 'correct' your body?

If left untreated, Bulimia Nervosa can increase in severity and result in grave consequences both physically and mentally. Regrettably diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Bulimia can often be missed as the physical symptoms are less overt than those of Anorexia Nervosa, as highlighted by previous blogs. With a BMI frequently falling within an average range it can be tempting to dismiss the severity of this illness, which serves to highlight the importance of increased understanding and awareness of this serious illness. The above are some of the common tell tale signs of Bulimia. If you feel that any of the listed statements reflect your attitude to food and your body image, it might be time you seek appropriate treatment and regain a greater life quality.

With National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in full swing, we at Life Works welcome this opportunity to shed some much needed light on the topic. NEDA week is a collective effort of primarily volunteers along with health professionals and individuals committed to raising awareness of this life threatening illness, while promoting access to the treatment and early intervention.

To learn more about the most prevalent types of eating disorders, read tomorrow’s blog on tell tale signs of compulsive overeating.

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To discuss how the Life Works team can help to support individuals and families dealing with an eating disorder or for further information on treatment programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to make an enquiry.

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