Select Page

Bulimia, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Bulimia?


Bulimia is an illness in which a person consistently binges on, or overeats, food and feels a loss of control. The person then uses different methods — like vomiting or abusing laxatives — to prevent weight gain. Many people with bulimia also have anorexia nervosa.

Bulimia is more common in women, but men can also have bulimia. It is most common in adolescent girls and young women. If you suffer from bulimia, you usually know that your eating pattern is not normal and you may feel fear or guilt with your binge-purge episodes.

Bulimics are often at a normal weight, but may see themselves as being overweight. Because their weight is often normal, other people may not notice this eating disorder.

What are the symptoms of bulimia?

Observable symptoms of bulimia include:

  • Repeated episodes of binging and purging
  • Feeling out of control during a binge and eating beyond the point of comfortable fullness
  • Compulsive exercise
  • Buying or eating large amounts of food that disappear quickly
  • Regularly going to the bathroom right after meals
  • Throwing away packages of laxatives, diet pills, emetics (drugs that cause vomiting), or diuretics
  • Purging after a binge (typically) by self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, excessive exercise, or fasting
  • Frequent dieting
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape

Many individuals (but not all) who suffer from bulimia also suffer from anorexia. Observable symptoms of anorexia include:

  • Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity level
  • Intense fear of weight gain or being “fat”
  • Feeling “fat” or overweight despite dramatic weight loss
  • Difficulty with eating full meals
  • Rigidity with “acceptable” foods
  • Obsessive preoccupation with body size
  • Over-exercising
  • Intense dissatisfaction with physical appearance, weight and shape
  • Personality change from outgoing to withdrawn
  • Limiting food intake to narrow selection of low-cal foods
  • Hoarding, concealing, crumbling or throwing away food
  • Menstrual difficulties

What are the dangerous physical complications of bulimia?

Bulimia is dangerous and can lead to serious medical complications over time. Vomiting repeatedly puts stomach acid in the esophagus which can permanently damage this area.

Possible complications include:

  • Swelling of the throat
  • Tears of the esophageal tubing from too much vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Dental cavities
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Pancreatitis

For more information, read our free articles and reports on anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders, including causes, statistics, dangers of various diets, dangers of laxatives and more detailed lists of behavioral and physical symptoms.

Whole-person care at The Center • A Place of HOPE

Whole-person care was created by Dr. Gregory Jantz, PhD, the founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE, in the early 1980’s. Dr. Jantz noticed that other programs were treating just the symptoms of an individual’s disorder or addiction. This type of narrowly focused treatment was not providing long-lasting care – complete recovery and freedom from one’s disorder – needed to define true success. Dr. Jantz is a certified eating disorder specialist and the author of bestsellerHope, Help, and Healing For Eating Disorders: A Whole Person Approach To Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.

Whole-person care treats the entire you — your mind, body and spirit.

Whole-person care treats your entire person, all aspects of your life – physical, mental, emotional, nutritional, fitness, spiritual – to enable complete healing for your mind, body and spirit. In this way, you work through all components of your life that have contributed to your current condition. The result is a deeper, longer-lasting and more complete recovery.

Your very own team of world-class professionals assigned just to you

At The Center • A Place of HOPE, we assign a team of world-class licensed and board-certified professionals just to you. Team members are highly specialized and include licensed medical doctors, psychiatrists, eating disorder specialists, psychologists, nutritionists, dieticians, mental health counselors, chemical dependency counselors, fitness trainers, registered nurses, marriage and family counselors and clergy.

They take the time to get to know you personally and understand all of your life events that have contributed to your current situation. They then create a treatment program that is uniquely tailored to you, personalized to your individual needs and life experiences, and built to return you to a place of lasting balance, health and happiness.


When you arrive at The Center • A Place of HOPE, you are met by a caring member of your team and introduced to your modern condominium-style apartment, complete with a new kitchen, a large living room, and comfortable, warm bedrooms. Most condominiums have decks and patios. Your lodging, including housekeeping, laundry and linen services, is included at no additional cost.



Treatment Costs

Each treatment program is different, and the length and level of care required in each program varies. But each person discusses the cost of their program with a trained program specialist prior to arrival to fully understand what costs are involved. Costs are on a per-diem basis and include professional transportation to and from the Seattle airport, all lodging in modern luxury condominium-style apartments, morning and afternoon meals, and all treatment programs including all medical and psychological evaluations.

Most major insurance policies are accepted for treatment. For any out-of-pocket expenses, The Center • A Place of HOPE works with trusted financing firms to offer payment plans. Call us today at 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak with a financial specialist who can help find the right solution for you.

Our Promise to You

Many programs make promises and provide quick fixes. Unfortunately, quick fixes don’t provide the lasting results needed to enjoy lifelong happiness and true recovery. At The Center • A Place of HOPE you will notice an atmosphere of respect, confidentiality and trust in every interaction we have with you. We work with you to understand your situation and fully address your questions or concerns.

Ready to take the next step?

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction. Call us today at 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak with an eating disorder specialist. It is a free, confidential call. We answer all of your questions and discuss what an anxiety treatment program might look like for you. Or, you can start by filling out the quick and easy form on the top of this page. An addiction specialist will contact you soon and answer all of your questions. You can reclaim, restore and reconnect to a healthy life. We care, and we can help you.


“I went to The Center to learn to deal with depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, spiritual care, grief and loss. My primary goals in coming were to get help with depression and binge eating.

My treatment team was top notch! My treatment team gave me exceptional care and was well suited to my needs. I had a great medical team.  I learned something from every class, and believe all the classes to be beneficial when working on the whole person. DBT is a class that offers great skills, and I would benefit from studying this technique further.   I can think of nothing that the Center could improve on. I am quite satisfied with the services provided here.

I was extremely satisfied with the services I received at The Center. Than you all for giving me a running chance at getting my life back. I will be thanking the Lord daily for you all.”

Brenda, 51 - Female

Free Initial Consultation

We encourage you to visit with our team of professionals regarding the eating disorder treatment services you need. You can reach us by filling out this form or by calling 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak with a licensed eating disorder specialist. It is a free, confidential call. Financing is available.

Are you or a loved one struggling with an eating disorder?

Fill out our quick and easy form, or call us today at 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak confidentially to a caring specialist.

Help is one phone call away.