Here are 10 tips on how to spot bulimia in a friend;
■Do they “disappear” after meals? Avoid eating around others? Make frequent trips to the bathroom?
■Bulimics throw up so frequently that they often have chronic bad breath. Typically, it has an acidic or even rotten smell.
■People suffering from bulimia often develop dry, puffy skin. And that’s not the only physical change you might notice. Others include yellowish or brownish teeth, mouth or gum sores, and dull or straggly hair.
■There’s nothing unusual about occasional use of laxatives. But if you start seeing lots of laxative bottles around the house – or lots of discarded laxative bottles in the trash – be suspicious and voice your concerns.
■Bulimics often rely on laxatives to get rid of unwanted food and the calories they contain. Some can take 20 doses at a time.
■Bulimics generally like to have a receptacle handy for their frequent purges. Do they keep a cup at their bedside? A bowl in the car? Etc…
■No wonder chronic fatigue is so common among bulimics. All that binging and purging can take a lot out of a person.
■Bulimics often feel low just after binging – or missing a workout. Excessive self-criticism and self-doubt are common problems, too. Bulimics tend to be perfectionists.
■Bulimics are deeply concerned about their weight and appearance – so much so that they often seem, to talk nonstop about food choices, calorie counts, etc.
■To conceal their eating binges, bulimics often stash food in secret places – in a car, bedroom, a dresser, the back of a cabinet, etc.
■Exercise is great. But someone who simply cannot stand to miss a visit to the gym – working out even when tired or sick or late at night – may be suffering from bulimia. Spending hours at the gym or working out so intensely that injuries arise are also cause for concern.
■Bulimics also hate for other people to see them eat. They tend to avoid family dinners and dinner dates.