Similar personality traits characterize those suffering from bulimia and anorexia nervosa: perfectionism, low self-esteem, neuroticism, and social isolation. Bulimia is characterized by binge-eating followed directly by either vomiting or using laxatives. Physical symptoms of this eating disorder include swollen glands, puffy cheeks, sore throat, tooth decay, and electrolyte imbalance.
Behavioral symptoms include eating in secret, avoiding social occasions where food is served, going to the bathroom right after a meal, and the use of diet pills. The health risks associated with bulimia are severe and can result in death if the eating disorder is not effectively treated. These health risks include acid/base imbalance, damage to lung tissue from breathing-in vomit, muscle fatigue, abnormal and rapid heart rate, dehydration, constipation, electrolyte imbalance, and cardiac arrest.