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Bulimia (cont.)

Bulimia Symptoms and Signs

Patient Comments

Probably the earliest and most obvious warning sign of bulimia is an extreme preoccupation with obesity, weight, and body shape. People with bulimia will try to hide their bingeing and purging behavior from others. This secrecy often makes it difficult to identify the actual problem until serious complications from the physical self-abuse occur. People with bulimia may complain of generalized weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of menstrual cycles, or other physical effects of this disorder. They may even complain of vomiting or diarrhea without revealing that it is self-induced.

  • A physical exam may reveal signs of chronic bingeing and purging.
    • Dental cavities, loss of tooth enamel, enlarged salivary glands, and scars on the knuckles may be present as a result of chronic self-induced vomiting.
    • Signs of malnutrition or dehydration may be present including dry skin, changes in the hair and nails, swelling of the lower legs and feet, or loss of sensation in the hands or feet.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/17/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Bulimia »

Bulimia nervosa (BN) is one of the eating disorders identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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