How do I know if I have bulimia nervosa?

There are two subgroups of anorexic behavior aimed at reducing caloric intake, including the following:

  • Purging type – regularly makes themselves throw up or misuses laxatives, diuretics,¬†enemas, or other cathartics (medications, through their chemical effects, that serve to increase the clearing of intestinal contents).
  • Non-purging type – uses other inappropriate behaviors, such as fasting or excessive exercise, rather than regularly engaging in purging behaviors to reduce caloric absorption of excessive amounts of food by the body.

The following are the most common symptoms of bulimia.

  • Usually a normal or low body weight (sees self as overweight)
  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating (rapidly eating excessive amounts of food in a relatively short period of time; often in secret), coupled with fearful feelings of not being able to stop eating during the bingeing episodes
  • Self-induced vomiting (usually secretive)
  • Excessive exercise or fasting
  • Peculiar eating habits or rituals
  • Inappropriate use of laxatives, diuretics, or other cathartics
  • Irregular or absence of menstruation
  • Anxiety
  • Discouraged feelings related to dissatisfaction with themselves and their bodily appearance
  • Depression
  • Preoccupation with food, weight, and body shape
  • Scarring on the back of the fingers from the process of self-induced vomiting
  • Overachieving behaviors