Bulimia – How to recognize it. Symptoms, signs, complications and solutions

The bulimia is a serious and life-threatening disturbance in eating. People, who suffer from bulimia, constantly eat a lot and then in the unhealthiest way try to release the intake of the calories, in order not to gain weight.

They force themselves to vomit the food or they overuse laxatives and diuretics. Some people burn the calories by extreme exercises.

Bulimic people are often depressed, with low self-confidence and anxious. Adolescents are the most common age group which suffers from bulimia. Studies show that most of the cases are among people under 22, mostly 15 and 16. Women suffer more than men.

How to recognize somebody who is bulimic?

  • They constantly fear that they would gain weight and are preoccupied with the calories they take.
  • They feel like they don’t have control on the food they eat, so they overeat.
  • They eat until they feel pain in their stomach.
  • After they overeat they feel guilty, embarrassed or depressive.
  • They use laxatives and diuretics.
  • They do extreme exercises.
  • They force themselves to vomit.
  • Their throat is soar and inflamed because of the constant vomiting.


As a result of the reduced intake of nutritive elements, people who suffer from bulimia might seriously damage their other organs.

They mostly suffer from:

  • Losing consciousness
  • Dehydration
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Cold feet and hands because of low circulation
  • Kidney problems
  • Hormonal disruption (late puberty, irregular menstrual cycle…)
  • Rupture in the alimentary canal
  • Arrhythmia

How to help a bulimic person?

Several advices might help you if you find yourself with bulimic people who need your help.

  1. Offer them you unconditional support. Have in mind that this person has kept this in secret, so he or she could be embarrassed. If they decide finally to reveal the secret, show them you really care.
  2. Do not threaten, scare or accuse them! This negative approach could only make the situation worse. Try to help them but don’t judge them.
  3. Set a good example. If you eat healthy, do exercise regularly and have healthy habits in general, you would be more likely to be taken seriously by the bulimic person.
  4. Ask help from a professional. You definitely need a doctor. The more the illness has been present, the harder it is for the body to get back into normal. The doctor would give a proper treatment.
  5. Accept the limits. No matter how much you want to help, it is crucial that the person suffering from bulimia has the wish to drag himself or herself out from the paws of this serious illness.