According to QuickCare.org, common short-term effects of bulimia are unhealthy weight gain or loss, broken blood vessels in the eyes, puffy or swollen cheeks and painful salivary glands. Other short-term effects include dehydration, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating and cramps, fatigue, sleep problems and decreased self-esteem. These effects can occur even after someone binges and purges only a few times.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which someone binges and purges. According to QuickCare.org, binging consists of overeating in a single sitting, and purging consists of vomiting or using laxatives. People purge to avoid gaining weight from all the food they have eaten. About three people in every 200 suffer from bulimia.
HelpGuide.org describes the signs of binge eating as a lack of control over eating, secrecy surrounding eating, consuming unusually large amounts of food, and alternating between overeating and not eating at all. Signs indicating that someone is purging include going to the bathroom after meals, using laxatives after eating, smelling of vomit or excessively exercising after eating. Bulimia is commonly caused by poor body image, low self-esteem, a history of trauma or abuse, major life changes or appearance-oriented activities, such as dancing, modeling and acting. Trained eating disorder professionals can help anyone suffering with bulimia.