Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Carolina House Eating Disorder Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Carolina House Eating Disorder Treatment Center.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Bulimia Symptoms & Signs

Carolina House provides leading bulimia treatment to ensure long-lasting recovery for a healthier and more satisfying life.

Understanding Bulimia

Learn about bulimia treatment

Bulimia nervosa is a type of eating disorder that is characterized by excessive overeating, which is more commonly known as binge-eating, followed by purging behaviors to clear the afflicted individual’s body of the food they have consumed. People who struggle with bulimia nervosa may feel that they are unable to control themselves when it comes to the amount of food they consume during their episodes of binge-eating, which causes them to consume more than most individuals do during one sitting. After these episodes occur, those with bulimia will either make themselves vomit or abuse enemas, diuretics, or laxatives in an attempt to stop themselves from gaining weight. This disorder is marked by an extreme preoccupation with food and hyper focus on body shape and weight. The risks linked to bulimia nervosa can be life-threatening, however with the appropriate treatment, those who struggle with this mental health issue can obtain the skills needed to live happy, healthy lives that do not revolve around an eating disorder.


Bulimia statistics

Mental health experts approximate that nearly 24 million people battle with eating disorders like bulimia nervosa. Studies have shown that 1% to 2% of young females meet criteria to be diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. This mental health condition is said to impact individuals in older adolescence and young adulthood, and it is more common in females than in males. More research needs to be conducted to help determine the prevalence of bulimia nervosa in males, however, estimates suggest that the ratio of this eating disorder is ten females to one male.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for bulimia

Experts in the field of eating disorders believe that the causes and risk factors for bulimia nervosa come from genetics and specific environmental influences. When trying to obtain a firm grasp on why an individual has developed bulimia nervosa, the following can be very helpful:

Genetic: Researchers have found that when an individual has a family background of bulimia nervosa or other eating disorders, their chances of developing similar issues are much more likely that those who do not have this genetic link. In addition, a family history of depression and anxiety increase ones vulnerability in developing bulimia nervosa.

Environmental: Studies have shown that there are some environmental factors that play into one’s development of bulimia nervosa. For example, being the victim of a sexual abuse during childhood can bring on bulimic symptoms. In addition, exposure to violence or being the victim of physical abuse can also increase one’s odds of developing this disorder. Exposure to environments where being thin is valued can also play a role in one’s development of this disorder.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of bulimia nervosa or other mental health conditions
  • Exposure to environments in which thinness is revered
  • Being the victim of sexual or physical abuse
  • Personal history of mental health conditions
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of bulimia

Depending on the period of time that an individual has been bulimic, the signs and symptoms of this disorder will vary. Apart from other eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, where one is likely to suffer significant weight loss, those who are bulimic can be of average weight and even overweight. At first sight, they might not appear to be battling with an eating disorder, however if one shows any of the following symptoms, they might be suffering from bulimia nervosa:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Inability to fulfill roles / responsibilities
  • Rigid dieting / fasting
  • Fainting spells
  • Excessive exercising
  • Engaging in ritualistic eating behaviors
  • Binge-eating followed by self-induced vomiting
  • Abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas

Physical symptoms:

  • Ulcers
  • Swollen cheeks
  • Swollen glands
  • Acid reflux
  • Tooth discoloration / decay
  • Mouth sores
  • Internal bleeding
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Constipation due to laxative abuse
  • Dehydration
  • Low potassium levels
  • Calluses or scars on hands or knuckles
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Imbalanced fluids and/or electrolytes
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Menstrual irregularity or amenorrhea (females only)
  • Irregular bowel movements

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Poor impulse control
  • Desire to control situations and environment
  • Fatigue
  • Obsessions / compulsions / preoccupations with food, weight, or body shape
  • Dizziness

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Feelings of ineffectiveness
  • Overwhelming fear of gaining weight
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Elevated anxiety levels
  • Low self-esteem / self-worth
  • Drastic shifts in mood
  • Depressed mood

Effects of bulimia

Bulimia nervosa, which is a serious type of eating disorder, is a mental health condition that can cause an individual to suffer many life-threatening consequences if the behaviors linked to this illness are continued. The effects listed below are likely to occur if an individual does not obtain the correct treatment to start recovering from this disorder:

  • Suicide attempts
  • Death
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Ruptured esophagus
  • Substance use / abuse/ addiction / dependence
  • Ruptured stomach
  • Skeletal myopathy
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Infertility
  • Decline in quality and quantity of interpersonal relationships
  • Financial strife
  • Academic failure
  • Development of another mental health condition
  • Inability to maintain employment
Co-Occurring Disorders

Bulimia and co-occurring disorders

Those who battle with bulimia often find themselves struggling with other co-occurring mental health conditions, including, however not limited to, the following:

  • Personality disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
Think you might have an eating disorder?

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Treatment Modalities

I've been bulimic throughout my teens and most of my adult life. Thankfully, coming to Carolina House completely changed the way I think and feel about myself. I’m so grateful for this program’s help in getting me my health, my happiness, and my life back.

– a former patient
Marks of Quality Care
Why does this matter?
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • International Association Of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)