Individuals suffering from bulimia find themselves caught in the devastating and addictive binge-purge cycle.  Bulimia is characterized by binge eating followed by harmful compensatory behaviors in an effort to prevent weight gain.

A binge episode is defined as the intake of an inordinately large amount of food, in a discrete amount of time (usually less than two hours), in which the individual experiences a sense of a lack of control over eating.  Inappropriate compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain includes self-induced vomiting, fasting, excessive exercise, laxatives, diuretics, enemas, and/or medications.  Similar to anorexia, the individual is overly concerned with body shape and weight and experiences a distorted body image.

Some medical complications may include:
• Acid Reflux
• Amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle)
• Bone density problems (Osteoporosis)
• Bruising of the skin
• Cardiovascular problems
• Dehydration
• Dental problems
• Digestive difficulties
• Dry skin, hair, and nails and hair loss
• Edema (Swelling of soft tissues resulting from excess water accumulation from laxative or diuretic abuse)
• Electrolyte Imbalances
• Gastrointestinal complaints (cramps, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, incontinence)
• Hypo- and Hyperglycemia (low/high blood sugar)
• Hyponatremia (low sodium)
• Infertility
• Iron-deficiency anemia
• Ketoacidosis (high level of acids build up when the bosy burns fat instead of sugar/carbs)
• Kidney infection and failure
• Lanugo (soft downy hair on face, back, and arms)
• Liver failure
• Low blood pressure or hypotension
• Low body temperature
• Low platelet count
• Malnutrition
• Muscle Atrophy
• Pancreatitis
• Parotid gland swelling
• Seizures
• Sleep problems
• Tearing of esophagus
• Weakness and fatigue