The NHS explains: “People who have bulimia go through periods where they eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binge eating) and then make themselves sick, use laxatives (medicine to help them poo) or do excessive exercise, or a combination of these, to try to stop themselves gaining weight.”
According to the health body, anyone can get bulimia, but it is more common in young people aged 13 to 17.
Symptoms of bulimia include:
- Eating very large amounts of food in a short time, often in an out-of-control way – this is called Binge eating
- Making yourself vomit, using laxatives, or doing an extreme amount of exercise after a binge to avoid putting on weight – this is called purging
- Fear of putting on weight
- Being very critical about your weight and body shape
- Mood changes – for example, feeling very tense or anxious.
“These symptoms may not be easy to spot in someone else because bulimia can make people behave very secretively,” explains the NHS.