Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia are becoming more common. They mostly affect adolescents and young women, but older men and women can also suffer from an eating disorder.
Anyone with this medical/psychological condition should be treated as soon as possible to prevent serious health complications. Early detection and treatment can literally save lives.
The most common signs and symptoms of eating disorder are listed below. If you notice this in yourself or in someone you know, there is a possibility that you or that person may need professional help. Talk to your parents, a health counselor, or a trusted adult to help you be evaluated and diagnosed appropriately and, if necessary, to treatment.
Physical signs and symptoms
- Weight fluctuations (for people with bulimia nervosa). The weight can move up and down, or it can be within the normal range.
- Intolerance to cold. The person feels cold easily.
- Frequent experience of abdominal pain, constipation, acid reflux and other digestive problems
- Feeling dizzy and sometimes fainting.
- Lethargy or excess energy, or alternate 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 easily gets the flu and common infections.
- Inflamed salivary glands (along with the areas of the neck and jaw)
- Dress in layers or loose clothing to disguise weight loss (and also to stay warm)
- A concern for weight loss and diet. The person is very concerned about the choice of food and nutritional information (calories, fat content, etc.). She may refuse to eat certain types of foods, such as carbohydrates or fats.
- Frequently commenting that she is fat or overweight, although evidently, it is not true
- He often says he is not hungry, even during meals when he should be hungry
- Skip meals or eat very little during meals
- Occasionally overeating (eating a large amount of food in a short period of time)
- Purging This is done by going to the bathroom during or after meals, vomiting or using laxatives and diuretics.