It's important for parents to recognize bulimia signs and be aware of behavior that may be covering up a serious problem. When parents have concerns about their teen, it seems the last thing they will do to get the truth is to ask their teen directly. It's the natural way that parent-child relationships progress; kids are naturally more secretive during their teenage years. But a teen with an eating disorder may take this one step farther, hiding information that can be detrimental to his health.
Danger Signs of Bulimia
One of the most prominent signs of bulimia is purging after eating. While this may be done by using laxatives, enemas or other medications, bulimics often make themselves throw up to rid their bodies of calories they have consumed. Generally a person with bulimia tries to hide this purging, and it takes an attentive parent to be aware of the problem.
A teen who purges may attempt to cover up her actions in several ways; using perfume or air fresheners to mask the scent of vomit in the bathroom, chewing gum or mints and running water while using the bathroom. Since many of these purging incidents happen after a binging episode, it is also important to look for signs of a binge. Most bulimics don't like to eat in front of other people, and especially choose to keep their binges private. Because of this, you may find secret stashes of junk food in the bedroom or other hiding places. You may also find empty food containers, either that you don't recognize (because they have been purchased in secret by the bulimic) or that are inexplicably empty (a package of cookies that was bought the day before is now empty and buried in the trash). Keep in mind that high-calorie foods, such as cake, cookies and ice cream, tend to be the food of choice for most bingers.
A teen trying to hide bulimia from his parents may wear baggy clothes to hide his changing body. Keep in mind, though, that bulimics often maintain a normal weight and don't have the same drastic weight loss as anorexics. Even though they are purging their food, they are actually only ridding their body of approximately 50% of the calories they have consumed.
Keep an eye on the Web sites that your child may be visiting. There are a lot of Web sites on the internet devoted to the pro-bulimia and pro-anorexia cause. Even social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook have pro-eating-disorder groups, although these social networking sites are trying to shut them all down.
These Web sites and groups offer anonymous support for teens to continue with their eating disorders rather than get help. They offer tips and tricks on how to hide bulimia from parents and other concerned loved ones.
Being alert to changes in your child's behavior and moods can help clue you in to bulimia (or other eating disorders). If you suspect that your teen is suffering from bulimia, it is important to get him professional help as soon as possible. Bulimia and anorexia arise emotional stress and a distorted self-image. Early intervention has been shown to be the most effective way to combat bulimia.
Bulimia Nervosa is a long term disease. Recovery is often a hard and a long process with its ups and downs. That is why bulimia nervosa testimonials of recovery are interesting to read. You can always learn something interesting about how other people managed to beat this distorting body and sole disease.
Bulimia affects the whole body. But the most obvious effects it has is on the nervous system, mental state, gastro-intestinal, cardio system, kidney, skin, bones and the hormonal system.
There are a variety of bulimia treatment options, depending on the severity of the bulimia as well as personal preference. Many people with bulimia choose to use several forms of treatment to combat the emotional, physical and psychological parts of the disease.