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What can you do if you are a parent who suspects their child has Bulimia how do you know for sure?

April 18, 2008 – 3:50 pm


I have been ask this question so many times by lots of worried parents who think their child may have bulimia but don’t know any of the warning signs.
                           

If you are one of these parents then here is a list of things to look out for, I will start with simple things first:

1: Look for an excessive amount of food that is missing. Things like packets of biscuits you have just bought and they have disappeared overnight. Packets of sweets gone without you even having one yourself. Look for easy accessible foods that seem to be gone faster than what is normal for your family use.

2: The child is starting to act unusual around meal times. Being a bit anxious and not wanting to eat certain food groups, or may play with their food. They may say they have eaten at a friends place but then start to raid the food cupboard for easy food soon after dinner.

3: You notice that the child may have lots of food rappers in their bedroom hidden under the bed or in their trash basket. Half eaten candy bars or potato crisp packets hidden in places that are unusual.

4: The child may start to miss family gatherings or not want to go out to events where they normally would have, like picnics or parties preferring to stay home. Even making excuses they feel ill or have a headache.

5: The child may start to do more exercise that they use to do. Go for long runs or bike rides and start to really push themselves to the extreme.

These are all little things but point to a change in the Childs habits although you can’t come to the conclusion that your Child has Bulimia from these alone. You need more concrete evidence to go with these before you can be sure.

 

Bulimics normally become very good at hiding their condition from family and friends. Bulimia has been described as secretive and sneaky and it most certainly is.

So you as a parent have to become just as sneaky if you suspect your child of this disorder.

Here are some more concrete things to look out for.

1: The child after finishing their meal disappears to the bathroom for a long time. This starts to become a habit and is a surefire clue to the child being bulimic.

2: You notice the smell of toothpaste on their breath when they come from the bathroom, or a sour smell on their breath.3: You start to find laxatives in their bedroom or empty packets in their trash bin.

4: They start to become really edgy and anxious for no apparent reason and may start telling you to mind your own business if you say anything to them. They act out of character towards you.

5: They start to look sickly and feel the cold more that was normal for them. They may start having problems with their teeth or complain of a sore throat all the time.

 6: They start to become obsessed with there weight and are looking at the bathroom scales all the time, or asking you if they look fat or looking in the mirror more that they use to do.

If you noticed a number of these symptoms together then there is a good chance your child may have Bulimia. But do not simply confront them as this can drive the child away or warn them you are on to them, so they may become even sneakier.

You should educate yourself first from people who have faced what you are facing now. One of the best educational information around on this subject is at www.mom-please-help.com written by a mother whose daughter nearly died from bulimia anorexia. She was able to save her daughter herself when all else had failed.   

Comments:

  1. Hi there what entice you to post an article on What can you do if you are a parent who suspects their child has Bulimia how do you know for sure?? This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Monday.

  2. Thanks for your comment.
    We always try to post interesting articles to help as much as we can.
    Dr Irina Webster.

  3. Here something NOT TO DO:
    just because your teen/child binges on large amounts of food, do’t buy food and hide it
    or reserve that food for other members of the family.

    My mom, thinking if she hid cookies, Doritos, brownies, etc. I would stop throwing up

    It is up to the bulimic to gain self-control
    Hiding food only pents up anger and frustration and launches a binge-purging session when hidden food is found

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