Eating Disorder Signs & Symptoms

How Do I Recognize the Symptoms of an Eating Disorder?

Most of you might know that teenage girls and young women have a higher chance of developing an eating disorder than most other people. However, this doesn’t mean that teenage boys and young men won’t end up with an eating disorder. In fact, there is actually a rise in males getting treatment for some type of eating disorder. So, before you automatically assume this mental health disorder only affects women, think again because your young son might be suffering from it as well.
Here are some of the signs you should be looking for in figuring out if you or your loved one has an eating disorder:

    • Change in eating habits: weight loss, controlling their food intake is all they think about
    • Sleeping issues
    • Dizziness or fainting
    • Overthinking their calorie intake as well as their weight, fats, and other diet restrictions
    • Seems uncomfortable eating around other people
    • Specific food ritual such as excessive chewing
    • Severe changes in mood
    • Strongly concerning themselves about their body shape
    • Dieting too much
    • Cutting out entire food groups like becoming a vegetarian or implementing a no sugar diet
    • Skipping meals or barely eating or picking at food
    • Dental problems, dry skin, or fine hair
    • Ignoring friends or regular activities
    • Unable to concentrate
    • Frequently checking for flaws in the mirror

These are just a few common signs and symptoms that you or your loved one might have an eating disorder. Talk to your loved one if you suspect them before it gets too out of hand or their disorder starts to take over their life. Figuring it out sooner rather than later can allow them to seek eating disorder treatment from a professional who can help guide them in living a happier and healthier lifestyle. It can be hard to get back to eating more healthier since food is all around us.

Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder because people who suffer from this want to achieve a body weight that’s too low to be considered healthy.
Here are some signs you can watch out for in your loved one:

    • Significant weight loss
    • Too much unnecessary exercise
    • Change in style of clothing options: baggy clothes hiding the excessive weight loss
    • Forgoing fats and carbs: especially being obsessive about it
    • Doesn’t eat in front of other people
    • Obsessed with counting calories or other another type of diet
    • Having constipation or stomach pain
    • Telling others, you are “fat” too often
    • Avoiding mealtimes

Some of them can’t control the fear they have of gaining too much weight; therefore, they might end up going to great lengths to remain at a certain weight level. This could include only eating so many calories a day to using laxatives to lose the weight they don’t want. However, vomiting after eating is another option that can eventually lead to health issues down the road for those who don’t seek anorexia treatment.

Signs of Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is another eating disorder that can lead to potentially life-threatening results. Here are some signs you or your young daughter might be suffering from bulimia:

    • Exercising too frequently
    • Binge eating: a lot of food disappearing or too many empty food wrappers laying around
    • Purging: several trips to the bathroom, the scent of vomit on them
    • Dieting too often
    • Using mouthwash or mints too much
    • Hiding your body with baggy clothes
    • Forcing a vomit can result in scarred knuckles
    • Calling themselves “fat” too often
    • Forgoing meals, not eating, or only eating a little bit

You see, those who have bulimia might try to not eat as much during the day, which can lead to then bingeing food at night. Those who are overly concerned about their weight will tend to go to extreme measures such as vomiting or using laxatives to compensate for the food they ate.

Try to get bulimia treatment if you think you are suffering from bulimia because you don’t want this to turn into a life-threatening situation in the future. You might not be able to control your binge eating nights and end up with this eating disorder, but you can get through it with therapy by a professional who has the experience to help you get through it.

What Causes an Eating Disorder?

Like with most mental health disorders, an eating disorder doesn’t have just one factor that plays a role in someone developing an eating disorder. One of the most common reasons that cause an eating disorder is genetics since some genes a person has can increase their risk of getting an eating disorder.

However, a person’s psychological health can play a significant role as well, because people who have low self-esteem or try to be too perfect with their outer appearance. Therefore, an eating disorder might be a result in trying to alter their image to match what others might believe to be beautiful. Peer pressure or wanting to fit in can lead you or your loved one down a path they might not be able to get out of without professional help.

If you ever find yourself dealing with this mental disorder, try to seek Jan Rakoff’s help through her eating disorder therapy before your health is affected. Also, don’t let the cost of therapy scare you away from getting the help you need, because Jan Rakoff offers sliding scale priced appointments, which can benefit those who don’t have insurance to cover the costs of therapy and counseling. If you live in or around the San Diego area, contact Jan Rakoff today to schedule an appointment for your therapy or counseling needs. She can get you or your family member through an eating disorder that is plaguing your life!