People with bulimia are at a higher risk to have an affective disorder, such as depression or general anxiety disorder. One study found 70% had depression at some time in their lives (as opposed to 26% for adult females in the general population), rising to 88% for all affective disorders combined. Another study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that of the population of patients that were diagnosed with an eating disorder according to the DSM-V guidelines about 27% also suffered from bipolar disorder. Within this article, the majority of the patients were diagnosed with bulimia nervosa, the second most common condition reported was binge-eating disorder. Some individuals with anorexia nervosa exhibit episodes of bulimic tendencies through purging (either through self-induced vomiting or laxatives) as a way to quickly remove food in their system. There may be an increased risk for diabetes mellitus type 2. Bulimia also has negative effects on a person's teeth due to the acid passed through the mouth from frequent vomiting causing acid erosion, mainly on the posterior dental surface.
Bulimia nervosa can be difficult to detect, compared to anorexia nervosa, because bulimics tend to be of average or slightly above average weight. Many bulimics may also engage in significantly disordered eating and exercise patterns without meeting the full diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa. Recently, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was revised, which resulted in the loosening of criteria regarding the diagnoses of bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. The diagnostic criteria utilized by the DSM-5 includes repetitive episodes of binge eating (a discrete episode of overeating during which the individual feels out of control of consumption) compensated for by excessive or inappropriate measures taken to avoid gaining weight. The diagnosis also requires the episodes of compensatory behaviors and binge eating to happen a minimum of once a week for a consistent time period of 3 months. The diagnosis is made only when the behavior is not a part of the symptom complex of anorexia nervosa and when the behavior reflects an overemphasis on physical mass or appearance. Purging often is a common characteristic of a more severe case of bulimia nervosa. 2b1af7f3a8