Bulimia is an eating disorder where a large amount of food is ingested and then purged. The cycle can repeat several times a day. Although those suffering from bulimia often look normal, the cycle of eating and purging usually is done obsessively.

Difference from Anorexia

The biggest difference is that people suffering from bulimia eat large amounts of food and then purge by throwing up. Anorexics usually control their food intake and therefore do not binge and purge.


  • Uncontrollable eating
  • Rigorous exercising
  • Using laxatives in order to purge
  • Leaving during or directly after meals to go to the bathroom
  • Digestive problems
  • Depression and low self-esteem
  • Dieting or fasting
  • Over concern with food

What is normal?

It is not unusual in our culture to diet and to be concerned with weight gain. We are a very body-conscious society so it is not at all unusual to be preoccupied with our bodies. Many teenagers don’t like talking about their eating habits or about their weight. That’s very normal but, when your teenager shuts you out and you suspect there is something going on because they have some of the above symptoms then it’s time to take a closer look.

When you should seek help:

You should seek help if your child:

  • Is vomiting blood
  • Using laxatives all the time
  • Has an obsession with weight and food intake
  • Has recurring digestive problems
  • Over eats but does not gain weight
  • Is lethargic or feeling out of control
  • Leaves the table during or shortly after each meal to go to the bathroom

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