About Bulimia: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Recovery

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picture of Jared Levenson with hands by his head to represent the big bulimia symptoms causes

Bulimia. You’ve heard the word before. Are you curious about the bulimia’s symptoms and causes?

But it’s just one of those things that people keep to themselves, remaining invisible …

Here is a quick overview of bulimia symptoms causes and recovery:

  • Symptoms: binge eating and then behavior to not gain weight (doesn’t need to be vomiting but excessive exercise counts too)
  • Causes: no definitive cause but risk factors include biology, past behavior of dieting, and emotional issues
  • Recovery: various options for recovery

Bulimia Causes Symptoms

There is no one definitive cause of Bulimia.

However, based on my past experience of helping people, I can safely say that every person I have worked with with bulimia has had a history of dieting.

Dieting harms people.

If you have bulimia, odds are high you have dieted before.

Other causes include genes (if you have a close family member or cousin or who also binge eats) and emotional issues.

For an excellent resource article on the causes of bulimia, you can read this Mayo clinic article here.

Bulimia Symptoms & Causes

The tricky part about bulimia is that you may not lose a ton of weight like anorexia.

When someone is anorexic, you can sometimes tell. Anorexic people are notorious for having incredibly thin bodies.

Yet in bulimia no weight loss (or weight gain) may occur.

This makes bulimia very secretive and easier to hide.

However, there are some common symptoms:

  • Binge: you eat a lot of food in a short period of time and feel out of control
  • Compensation: You exercise for hours at a time, you take pills to flush your system or stop eating. You may make yourself vomit as well
  • Body image distortion: You view your body as the source of your problems. If only your body looked a certain way or if your weight was lower, then your life would be better. These thoughts preoccupy your mind nearly all the time
Bulimia is not this. Bulimia is what you do after this. Do you punish yourself? Do you exercise for hours on end? Do you swear you’ll never do this again? Do you skip eating the next day? Bulimia is punishment. It’s you punishing you because you screwed up you.

Bulimia Symptoms Causes Recovery

This post linked above talks about Cognitive Therapy.

But truthfully, don’t worry about that yet.

In fact just don’t worry.

I know ..

I know …

Just won’t worry?

How can I not worry?

I’m telling you, don’t worry.

Are you alive right now?

Then you’ll be okay going forward.

Don’t make this into a bigger problem.

It’s just something you need to learn about.

No shame.

Don’t you want to learn more about your body?

Don’t think that you have some disorder or something.


Recognize that you may have bad patterns, sure.

Recognize that you may technically have what others will label as “binge eating”

But …

You’re alive right now, aren’t you?

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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