Health Fitness

Eating Disorders: What are the signs you might be suffering from?

Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia are becoming more and more common. They mainly affect teenagers and young women, but older men and women can also suffer from an eating disorder. Anyone with this medical or psychological condition should receive treatment as soon as possible to avoid serious health complications. Early detection and treatment can literally save lives.

There are certain signs and symptoms that can indicate if a person has an eating disorder. The most common are listed below. If you notice this in yourself or someone you know, there is a possibility that you or that person needs professional help. Talk to your parents, a health counselor, or an adult you trust to help you get properly evaluated and diagnosed and, if necessary, treated.

Physical signs and symptoms

  • Noticeable weight loss (for people suffering from anorexia nervosa)

  • Weight fluctuations (for people with bulimia nervosa). The weight can move up and down, or it can be within the normal range.

  • Cold intolerance The person feels cold easily.

  • Frequent experience of abdominal pain, constipation, acid reflux, and other digestive problems.

  • Feeling dizzy and sometimes fainting.

  • Either lethargy or excess energy, or alternating experiences of these two opposite states

  • Irregularities in the menstrual period.

  • Dental problems (such as cavities, tooth discoloration, and tooth sensitivity)

  • Dry skin, nails and hair. The person may also have thinning hair and brittle nails.

  • Poor wound healing and immune function. She gets the flu and common infections easily.

  • Swollen salivary glands (along the neck and jaw areas)

Behavioral signs

  • Dressing in layers or loose clothing to disguise weight loss (and also to stay warm)

  • Concern about weight loss and diet. The person is very concerned about food choices and nutritional facts (calories, fat content, etc.). You can completely refuse to eat certain types of food, such as carbohydrates or fat.

  • You frequently comment that you are fat or overweight, although this is obviously not true

  • Say frequently that you are not hungry, even during meals, when you should be hungry.

  • Skipping meals or eating very little during meals

  • Occasional bingeing (eating a large amount of food in a short period of time)

  • Purge. This is done by going to the bathroom during or after meals, vomiting, or using laxatives and diuretics.

  • Unusual eating rituals, such as chewing excessively, not allowing different foods to be touched on your plate, and eating only certain types of foods (for example, only vegetables and salads)

  • Drink excess water or non-caloric beverages.

  • Accumulation of food in unusual places.

  • Excessive exercise

  • Looking in the mirror frequently to check your appearance

  • Difficulty sleeping or getting a good night’s sleep.

Emotional signs and symptoms

  • You fear eating in public or are uncomfortable eating with other people.

  • He prefers to be alone and stays away from his friends and social events.

  • Has extreme mood swings

  • You have an intense and irrational fear of gaining weight.

  • You have a distorted image of your body.

  • May have low self-esteem

The presence of these signs and symptoms does not indicate with absolute certainty that the person has an eating disorder. Only a professional doctor can correctly diagnose the condition, so it’s best to see one as soon as possible.

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