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Bulimia Nervosa Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

Lady eating Macdonalds Fries

Bulimia Nervosa Meaning

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by a person repetitively bingeing or purging on food. During a binge, a person will consume a large amount of food in a short period of time.

After an episode of overeating the person may feel a loss of control, this can result in the person vomiting or using laxatives/diuretics in an attempt to prevent weight gain. A person may conceal their eating disorder for some time as generally these episodes are carried out in secret.

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Predominantly adolescent girls and young women are most affected by eating disorders, however, both men and women at any age may experience difficulties.

Signs & Symptoms of Bulimia

Most common signs and symptoms of bulimia are:

  • Excessive exercising and fasting
  • Increase/decrease in weight not associated with an underlying medical condition
  • Mood swings, depression, anxieties, irritability
  • Use of weight management pills, diuretics, laxatives, self-induced vomiting
  • Unhealthy eating habits, binges, severe dieting, hiding food, secretive eating.
  • Frequent use of the bathroom after eating
  • Broken blood vessels in the eye
  • Chronic dehydration
  • Gastric reflux after eating
  • Enlarged glands in the neck and jaw
  • Infertility

Eating Disorders & Mental Health

The cause for eating disorders can often stem from long-standing psychological, social and interpersonal conditions. Generally, people experiencing an eating disorder are masking underlying emotions, for example, low self-esteem, anger, depression, anxiety and stress.

Personal relationships and work issues can also be causes contributing to the condition. The person may initially feel they have control over their lives and emotions but over time the pressure of life can become unmanageable. A person experiencing Bulimia may become socially isolated in an attempt to avoid social situations, this can also impact on family and personal relationships.

Bulimia usually stems from negative emotions, poor self-esteem and body image. Therapy is an important part of recovery from bulimia.

Bulimia Treatment

Initially, treatment for Bulimia involves breaking the harmful cycle and restoring healthy eating behaviours. Negative thoughts and beliefs around health, dieting and bodyweight need to be introduced. Therapy and counselling will help to resolve core emotional issues, resulting in the healing process.

If you or a family member are experiencing any difficulties with an eating disorder we can offer advice and information on suitable treatment options to meet your needs.

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We understand that making the decision to commit to rehab can be difficult, you can schedule a tour of one of your local rehab centres to see the available facilities, resources and environment. This can help you with taking the first steps towards your rehabilitation.

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The chances of recovery increase the earlier an eating disorder is treated. These are the most common signs you have an eating disorder:

  • Fixation on exercise and weight loss
  • Change in diet for losing weight
  • Becoming increasingly concerned about calories in food 
  • Extreme concern with body size and shape
  • Frequently bothered by flaws in appearance
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Stomach cramps and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Difficulties maintaining concentration
  • Feeling coldness frequently
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Dental problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Delayed healing of wounds

At Serenity Addiction Centres we offer treatment options for the following disorders:

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Compulsive overeating
  • Eating disorder rehabilitation
  • Intervention
  • Counselling
  • Group therapy
  • Rehab facilities

We have rehab and detox clinics all across the UK to help you on your journey to recovery. Click here to find rehab centres & facilities near you.

For more information on how much eating disorder treatment costs, please click here.

The best way to get started is to call our dedicated helpline on 0800 118 2892 for free advice and an assessment. Let us help you or your loved one figure out the best treatment plan for your alcohol addiction so you can get started on your journey to