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Swollen Salivary Glands!
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Questions in the Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Forum are being answered by Dr. Patricia Pitts, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist from The Bella Vita Program - CA.

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Swollen Salivary Glands!

Hi- I was bulimic for 8 years and I am 7 months recovered right now. I know that it is normal for your salivary glands to puff up while your in recovery, but is it normal for them to be swollen for 7 months straight? My glands are still swollen and I am soooo worried that they wont go back down. They have made little improvement but they are still very embarrassingly large. I did have a severe case of anorexia/bulimia (threw up 6x a day) so this might effect the length of time that it will take for my glands to shrink but I don't know. Will they go back to normal?
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Dear Jen,

Congratulations on having 7 months of recovery on your side!  Normally the swollen salivary glands that give the appearance of “chipmunk-like cheeks” go down when the binge purging behavior ceases.  In rare case like your own, the swelling may continue for months.  In my 27 years of treating eating disorders, I have seen a handful of individuals with your concern.  You need to see an ENT to diagnose your condition.  I have heard of such things as individuals being prescribed antibiotics, ridding the mucous trapped in the glands, low amounts of saliva needing to be addressed and blockage needing surgery.

Good luck,

Dr. Pitts

Patricia Pitts, PhD
The Bella Vita
Los Angeles, California

4 Comments
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535038_tn?1214662281
Hi Jen...im no expert, but having been in the same situation i can say that my glands were/are/have been swollen for some time.  Ive been bulimic/anorexic for going on 10 years off and on. (Im 23 now).

If you do feel worried though, i think you should go to a dr, and see what they think.
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535038_tn?1214662281
As for will they go back to normal. They should. Mine did.
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Thank you so much for your comment! I love to hear encouragement! I am also 23- are you currently struggling or are you recovered? I weaned myself from bulimia- I got down to once a week and never did my glands swell up until I stopped for like two weeks and then they stayed swollen up until now. I hear that glands will stay pretty normal looking until you quit altogether. Mine fluctuated while I was struggling but they are constant right now.  So I hope very much that if and when you make a full recovery, that you will not have to endure anywhere near the horror I have seen with my glands. I hope yours are normal for good right now! Thanks again- Blessings.  
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