Eating Disorder: Warning Signs and Symptoms

woman staring at a slice of cucumberAn eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice or dieting gone too far. It’s not even a cry for help as some people see it. It is a very serious mental illness that can even potentially take lives. This condition happens when eating, body shape or weight, and exercise becomes the focal point of someone’s life.

If you or someone you know is suffering from this condition, it is important that you get treatment for eating disorder in Kansas City right away.

Types of Common Eating Disorders

Common examples of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

  • Anorexia nervosa. People who suffer from this condition tend to starve themselves to keep an unhealthy and unrealistic body image.
  • Bulimia nervosa. People with this disease consume huge amounts of food or binge eat then try to get rid of the food and excess calories through purging.
  • Binge eating disorder. This disorder compels the sufferer to compulsively consume copious amounts of calories in just a brief period and often in secret.

Signs and Symptoms

Here are just some of the symptoms of eating disorders.

Anorexia nervosa

  • Overly underweight and often have an emaciated look
  • Dizziness and sometimes even fainting
  • Brittle nails
  • Fatigue
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Fine baby fair that covers the face and other parts of the body
  • Thinning hair that easily breaks or falls out
  • Refuses to eat and denies being hungry
  • Excessive exercise
  • Only eating foods that are low in calories and fat
  • Following eating rituals like cutting food into small pieces

Bulimia nervosa

  • Bowel that functions abnormally
  • Development of sores in the mouth and throat
  • Damaged gums and teeth
  • Scars are often found at the back of the hand or fingers used for purging.
  • Saliva glands that are swollen
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Esophagus inflammation and irritation
  • Always dieting even when not necessary
  • Hiding food and eating in secret
  • Does not stop eating even when full to the point of pain and discomfort
  • Would often go to the bathroom after eating
  • Purges the food eaten through the use of a laxative or making themselves vomit

The warning signs of an eating disorder vary depending on which specific disease and stage of progression a person suffers from. It’s also not always easy to spot these signs. Some may even look healthy enough to make you believe that they are fine.

Do not hesitate to reach out and seek help if you suspect that someone you know might be suffering from an eating disorder. Your early intervention could save a life.