Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia are becoming more and more common. They mostly affect teenage girls and young women, but men and older women may also suffer from an eating disorder. Anyone with this medical/psychological condition has to be treated as soon as possible to prevent serious health complications.
There are certain signs and symptoms which could indicate if someone has an eating disorder. If you observe these on your own, or in someone you know, there’s a possibility that you or that person may need expert help. Speak with your parents, a wellness counselor, or an adult you trust to help you get properly diagnosed and assessed, and when needed, treated.
Physical symptoms and signs
Noticeable weight loss (for individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa)
Weight changes (for individuals with bulimia nervosa). The weight can move up and down, or it may be within the normal variety. The individual feels cold easily.
Frequent experience of abdominal pain, constipation, acid reflux and other digestive issues
Feeling dizzy and sometimes fainting
Either lethargy or extra energy, or alternating experiences of these two other states
Irregularities at the menstrual period
Dental issues (for example, cavities, tooth discoloration and tooth sensitivity)
Dry skin, hair and nails. The individual may also have thinning hair and brittle nails.
Swollen salivary glands (across the neck and jaw regions )
Dressing in layers or loose clothes to disguise weight loss (and to stay warm)
A preoccupation with weight loss and dieting. The man or woman is quite worried about food choices and nutritional data (calories, fat content, etc.). She can refuse to eat certain kinds of food altogether, like carbs or fats.
Frequently commenting that she’s fat or overweight, though it’s clearly not true
Often saying that she isn’t hungry, such as during meal times when she ought to be hungry
Skipping meals or eating very little during foods
Sometimes binge-eating (eating a great deal of food in a brief time period )
Purging. This is accomplished by going to the toilet during or after meals, nausea, or using laxatives and diuretics.
Unusual food staples, like chewing too, not letting different food items on her plate to touch, and eating only certain food types (for example, veggies and salads only)
Excessive drinking of water or non-caloric beverages
Hoarding of food in odd places
Often looking in the mirror to check her look
difficulty sleeping or getting a good night’s sleep
Emotional symptoms and signs
Fears eating in public, or feels uncomfortable when eating with other people
Prefers to be alone, and withdraws from friends and social events
Has intense mood swings
Has an extreme and ridiculous fear of gaining weight
Has a distorted picture of her body
Might have poor self-esteem
The existence of the signs and symptoms doesn’t indicate with complete certainty that the individual does have an eating disorder. Just a professional medical practitioner can correctly diagnose the illness, so it is ideal to see one when possible.