Bulimia: What to Look For

A child with bulimia nervosa may well seem a healthy weight for her age, and appear to eat normally—bulimia is much harder to detect than anorexia, and secretiveness is a key facet of the disorder. But there are signs to look for. She may be dehydrated, and experience acid reflux from frequent vomiting, along with sore throats, swollen glands, and the deterioration of teeth due to contact with stomach acids. Sudden absences from the dinner table or routine trips to the bathroom right after eating are key signs. An unrealistic body image is also a possible sign of bulimia, as with anorexia. Bulimics often prefer to binge and purge in private.