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When you know the true warning signs of bulimia - spotting it can be easy. But, if you don't know what to look for, people go for years suffering alone.
I had bulimia for 10 years. In that time I managed to trick everyone... Nobody knew I was bulimic.
I want to teach you the REAL signs of bulimia...
I want to teach you the signs I wish my parents knew.
Here they are...
Bulimia Kills - Knowing and sharing the signs of this illness will help prevent people from suffering and even dying.
Bulimics eat to make themselves feel better. They have a compulsion to eat and this gets worse the longer they go untreated...
Because of this eating addiction, you may notice that food goes missing in your house. It doesn't matter what the food is... most bulimics aren't too fussy. (I remember eating an old bagel I found in the car once.... eww!)
A test for bulimia is to leave a large chocolate bar in the pantry... Take one or two pieces and leave the rest. Mark the packaging so that you know the bar hasn't been eaten and then replaced. (I know all the bulimia tricks!) See how long the chocolate bar lasts... Had I been there - it would have been gone in a flash!
People who suffer from bulimia often experience a quick and drastic decline in their oral health. They get gum infections, tooth decay and tooth discoloration.
If you suspect somebody you love is suffering from bulimia... You may be able to meet with their dentist and ask for his or her opinion. They'll be able to tell you if their oral health could be a warning sign of bulimia.
Between the ages of 13 and 20 I had massive amounts of dental work done. However, I paid my own dentist bills, so my mom never knew of all the work. If my mom had met my dentist and asked if I was bulimic - I'm sure he would have said yes.
I had terrible bulimia teeth which would crack and crumble all the time. To learn more about bulimia teeth, click here.
Bulimics feel so disgusting after eating that they have to throw up. Some bulimics may be able to wait a few hours, others will need to go right away.
Often bulimics will carefully time their purges... People in the house are occupied and nobody notices them disappear.
To test this warning sign of bulimia... After a big meal, pretend to be engrossed in a movie. But in reality, keep all your attention on what the person concerned is doing.
And, don't only look out for them going to the toilet...
That's not the only place bulimics throw up... Some bulimics throw up into tupperware hidden in their rooms... They may throw up in the shower... Or, they might even leave the house...
When I was bulimic, I would often throw up outside my bedroom window into the bushes.
Bulimics are so ashamed of what they do. They feel wasteful, disgusting and totally out of control. Because of this, they are extremely touchy when questioned about food. A simple comment about what they are eating could result in a temper.
I remember one night my dad commented when I went for seconds... I flew into a crazy rage... Threw the food away and ran away for the night. This is one of the classic warning signs of bulimia.
I was living on a knife edge and anything would make me lose it.
Bulimics eat a lot of food. Much more than a normal person... But, because they throw up so much of this food - their weight is often steady.
In my worst years of bulimia I weighed a steady 56kg's... Which was slim but not too thin. Had my weight plunged people would have become suspicious.
So watch out for somebody picking constantly and eating large meals... If their weight doesn't increase, this could be one of the warning signs of bulimia.
The 5 warning signs of bulimia above were the most significant to me... Had my parents known them, they would have known I was bulimic...
However, all people are different... and all bulimics will have different warning signs... To learn other significant Signs of Bulimia, click here.
From laxative abuse, secrecy around eating and "Bulimia Teeth", there are many different signs to watch out for. If you have noticed odd behaviour in someone you love, it could be due to bulimia. Share the bulimia signs you have noticed here...
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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community