Bulimia is an eating disorder and mental health condition.

Individuals with bulimia eat a lot of food in a short space of time and then try to rid themselves of the food by making themselves sick, using laxatives (or other pills), over exercising or doing a combination of these things.

Anyone of any age or gender can be affected by bulimia.

Bulimia is often a very secretive illness, which means symptoms can sometimes be difficult to spot.

Symptoms include:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short time - often in an ‘out-of-control’ way. This is called binge eating.
  • Making yourself be sick, using laxatives or doing a lot of exercise after a binge to try and avoid putting on weight. This is called purging.
  • Being critical about your body shape and weight
  • Changes in mood – feeling tense or anxious
  • Being fearful of putting on weight

You can find a longer list of symptoms on the NHS website and NAViGO’S Choice and Medication portal.

If you think you have an eating disorder, talk to your GP or contact our specialist eating disorder service Rharian Fields.

It can be very hard to admit you have a problem but getting help and support as soon as possible is important.

Each person’s treatment and recovery is different. Your treatment plan will be tailored to you but may include talking therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Sometimes it may be necessary to use medication. You can see a list of medicines we might offer you on our Choice and Medication portal.

If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 free from a landline or mobile phone.

If you are concerned about a family member or friend, encourage them to visit their GP or offer to go with them.

Rharian Fields is our specialist eating disorder service. Call them on (01472) 808450 or email nav.rharianfieldsadmin@nhs.net for further advice.

You may be eligible to access support through our FREED service — Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders (FREED). 

Beat: The Beat Adult Helpline is open to anyone over 18. Parents, teachers or any concerned adults should call the adult helpline.

Helpline: 0808 801 0677
Email: help@beateatingdisorders.org.uk

The Beat Youthline is open to anyone under 18.

Youthline: 0808 801 0711
Email: fyp@beateatingdisorders.org.uk

ABC: Anorexia & Bulimia Care provide on-going care, emotional support and practical guidance for anyone affected by eating disorders and eating distress.

Orcha Apps Library: This library lists thousands of NHS-approved health apps by condition, making it quick and easy for you to find support.

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