Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are becoming more common. It usually affects adolescent girls and young women, but men and older women can also suffer from eating disorders. Everyone with this medical / psychological condition must be treated as soon as possible to avoid serious health complications. Early detection and treatment can literally save lives.
There are certain signs and symptoms that may indicate that a person has an eating disorder. The most common of these are listed below. If you notice this to yourself or to someone you know, there is a chance that you or this person will need professional help. Talk to your parents, health counselor, or an adult you trust to help you properly assess and diagnose and treat if necessary.
Physical signs and symptoms
- Significant weight loss (in people with anorexia nervosa)
- Weight fluctuations (in people with bulimia nervosa). The weight may move up and down or may be in the normal range.
- Intolerance to cold. One easily feels cold.
- Common abdominal pain, constipation, acid reflux and other digestive problems
- Feeling dizzy and sometimes faint
- Either lethargy or excess energy, or the alternation of experiences from these two opposing states
- Irregularities during the menstrual period
- Dental problems (such as caries, discoloration of teeth and sensitivity of teeth)
- Dry skin, nails and hair. A person may also have thinning hair and brittle nails.
- Poor wound healing and immune function. It easily gets the flu and common infections.
- Swollen salivary glands (along the neck and jaw)
- Layering or loose clothing to mask weight loss (and also to stay warm)
- Weight loss and diet. The person is very concerned about food choices and nutritional data (calories, fat content, etc.). He may completely refuse to eat certain types of food, such as carbohydrates or fats.
- He often comments that she is fat or overweight, although this is clearly not true
- She often says that she is not hungry, even during a meal, when she should be hungry
- Skipping meals or very little during meals
- Occasional overeating (consuming large amounts of food in a short time)
- Cleaning. This is done by going to the toilet during or after a meal, vomiting or taking laxatives and diuretics.
- Unusual eating rituals such as excessive chewing, refusing to touch various foods on her plate, and eating only certain foods (such as vegetables and salads)
- Excessive drinking of water or non-caloric beverages
- Accumulation of food in unusual places
- Excessive exercise
- Check the mirror frequently to check its appearance
- Difficulty sleeping or having a good night’s sleep
Emotional signs and symptoms
- She is afraid to eat in public or feels uncomfortable eating with others
- He prefers to be alone and moves away from friends and social events
- He has extreme mood swings
- He has an intense and unjustified fear of gaining weight
- He has a distorted picture of his body
- He 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 diagnose the condition correctly, so it is best to visit him as soon as possible.