Bulimia is one of the most common eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, an estimated 1 percent of young women and 0.1 percent of young men meet diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa at any given time. Bulimia nervosa is defined as a repetitive cycle of compulsive binge-eating and purging behaviors.

Someone with bulimia may eat a large amount of food in a short period and then try to remove it from their body by purging using several different methods. These methods may include vomiting, exercising excessively, fasting, and using laxatives, enemas or diuretics.

The most common types of bulimia include:

  • Purging type
  • Non-purging type
  • Exercise bulimia

The most common behavioral symptoms of bulimia are:

  • Shame
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence
  • Social isolation
  • Distorted self-image

Some of the most common physical symptoms of bulimia include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain
  • Corrosion or yellowing of teeth (from purging)

Bulimia Self-Assessment

If you recognize symptoms of bulimia in yourself or someone you know, take this self-assessment to help identify signs of bulimia. This quiz is a self-guided assessment that has been created from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which is the standard criteria for diagnosing mental health and substance use disorders. While not a formal clinical diagnosis, the results of this bulimia quiz can help you better understand how bulimia may affect your life. 

Related: Getting Help for Addiction & Mental Health with Teletherapy

The following self-assessment contains 12 questions related to bulimia.

Please answer “yes” or “no.” In the past six months, have you:

Based a significant amount of your self-worth or self-esteem on your body shape and weight?
Used food to cope with stress, anxiety or boredom?
Eaten alone because you were ashamed of the amount of food you consume?
Avoided going to dinner with others because you wanted to hide your purging behaviors?
Eaten so much food that you made yourself uncomfortably full?
Felt an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat?

Restricted your caloric intake in between binging and purging episodes to avoid gaining weight?

Been diagnosed with or experienced symptoms of another medical condition?

Eaten an amount of food within two hours that is larger than what most individuals would eat in a similar period?
Experienced a lack of control over eating during the binge period?
Used recurrent compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain like self-induced vomiting, misusing laxatives or diuretics, fasting or excessive exercise?
Experienced binge eating and purging behaviors at least once a week for three months?

Your assessment results will appear on the next page. Please enter your information to proceed to your results.



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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. View our editorial policy or view our research.

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