The different symptoms of Bulimia

ZS Archives | The different symptoms of Bulimia

Bulimia does not happen overnight, it takes time to develop and does so delicately. Family and friends are often shocked to realize a loved one has been diagnosed, due to the fact that they didn’t notice the eating disorder or didn’t realize that certain behaviours or physical complaints were related to an eating disorder.

People who are struggling with bulimia experience emotions of shame and guilt about their behaviours, making them go to great lengths to hide these behaviours.

It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of symptoms below. People might not have all of these symptoms, this does not change the fact that they are still struggling with bulimia.

Physical symptoms


  • Repeated episodes of binge eating
  • Swollen glands
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pains
  • Headaches
  • Electrolyte imbalances and dehydration
  • Feeling a loss of control when consuming food
  • Excessive obsession with body weight and self – image

Behavioural symptoms



These are symptoms often notices outwardly by family or friends.

  • Evidence of purging
  • Evidence of binge eating
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Creating schedules that allows for binge eating and purging
  • Constantly fatigued

Emotional symptoms

Emotional symptoms tend to be harder to identify however family members and friends often recognizes these behaviours, they still remain unaware of the bulimia. These emotional issues are not unique to bulimia nervosa but may still raise concerns.

  • Self – esteem, self-worth or attractiveness determined by appearance and weight
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme irritability
  • Strong need for approval
  • Extremely self-critical
  • Feeling out of control
Jul 3, 2020

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