According to the National Institutes of Health, you are suffering from the eating disorder bulimia if you experience these binge-purge symptoms at least twice a week for three months:
You eat much more food than usual, in just a short time -- especially snacks or other foods high in calories. This episode is called a binge, and while it lasts, you feel like your eating is out of control.
After a binge, you use aggressive purging tactics to try to prevent gaining weight from all the food you just ate. You might make yourself vomit or take laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications. You also might use fasting or excessive exercise as part of this harmful strategy.
Your thoughts about body weight and shape dominate how you feel overall.
If you have bulimia, you probably share some common feelings that people with anorexia may have. For example, you may fear gaining weight, and always want to lose weight. However, bulimics are not as concerned about their weight as anorexics are.
But unlike anorexia, which is a different eating disorder, you might be able to keep your body weight in the normal range, which helps to keep bingeing and purging a secret. But to you, bingeing can make you feel ashamed, while purging brings a sense of relief.
Other Symptoms Include:
Recurrent episodes of binge eating and purging
Weight fluctuation (not necessarily weight loss, as seen in anorexia)
Overuse of laxatives
Tooth enamel erosion, gum infections, cavities, and tooth discoloration (caused by stomach acids from frequent vomiting)
Call Your Doctor if:
You find yourself secretly binge eating, then vomiting or using laxatives
You avoid eating in front of other people
Your child has an unreasonable fear of being fat and thinks she's fat when she's not
Your child avoids eating with others or frequents the bathroom immediately after meals