First things first, what is bulimia nervosa? Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder which the behavior causes to use self-induced vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, exercising in excessive ways in order to prevent weight gain. People with this diorder has a negative body image of themselves, which involves a distorted perception for their shape. Most of the time they question how they look like. “Is the tummy flat?”, “Is breast size proportional to body weight?“. This high level of body dissatisfaction is just one of the many bulimia nervosa warning signs and long-term effects.
There are two types of bulimia nervosa warning signs and symptoms, emotional and behavioral. I believe that the first thing you notice will be a person starting to control their eating behavior in a very obsessive way. Bulimics don’t always lose weight, so weight loss might not be a sign at first. Feeling uncomfortable eating around others, eating small or even extreme large portions and then disappearing right after is a major sign. Taking laxatives, diuretics, wearing baggy clothes, excessive exercising, discolored teeth and maybe even bruises on the knuckles are some signs too. Some Bulimics tend to drift from friendships or family members, they try to isolate themselves and most of them become depressed. Some people with his disease will make schedules in order to binge and purge to make sure they do not gain weight when binging.
More physical signs include yellow teeth as mentioned before, but more importantly, dizziness, trouble concentrating, sleeping problems. dry skin and brittle nails, muscle weakness, and menstrual irregularities.
There are many health consequences to this disease if not treated right away. Short term effects include, weight loss and depression. Long term effects include sore throat, tooth decay, gastrointestinal ulcers, irregular periods, kidney failure, heart failure, low pulse or blood pressure and pregnancy issues which can cause miscarriages or birth defects.
According to American Addiction Center Resources, about 0.9% of individuals in the U.S. suffer from this disorder, and it typically begins between the ages of 14-22. If you or someone you know is dealing with bulimia nervosa, get help immediately.