Eating disorders can take many forms, but they all impair your relationship with food and, if left untreated, can lead to major health concerns. If you suspect you may have an eating disorder, seek treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated, the physical and mental side effects of having an eating disorder can worsen considerably over time, and can even be life-threatening.
Recognizing the Signs of an Eating Disorder
Many people who have an eating disorder obsess over their body size, weight, and looks. A person with an eating disorder may exhibit the following behavioral and emotional signs:
- Feeling nervous or depressed
- A great aversion to gaining weight or becoming “fat”
- Wishing to isolate oneself from friends and relatives
- Putting an extraordinary amount of emphasis on food and calorie consumption
- Possessing a strong aversion to particular meals, such as those high in sugar or fat
- Avoiding situations that involve food
- Denying food-related difficulties or weight fluctuations
- Exercising, vomiting, or taking laxatives to purge after an overeating binge
- Weighing yourself daily
The Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
People suffering from anorexia are unable to maintain a healthy weight. They are also afraid of gaining weight, and even if they are skinny or even underweight, they perceive themselves as overweight. Anorexia can cause a person to starve themselves for days or to consume an extremely low-calorie diet every day.
Do you think you may have anorexia nervosa? See if the following applies to you:
- You may have very tight dietary “rules,” such as avoiding certain colors of food, refusing to eat at certain times of day, or severely restricting your calorie intake.
- Even if you are many pounds underweight, if you have anorexia, you may dread becoming fat, or you may see your body as obese.
- You are never satisfied with your looks, even if you are incredibly slim. You may believe that if you just lose some weight, you will feel better about yourself.
- Your parents or friends may have made comments about your weight.
- You feel as if your personal worth is based on your weight, clothing size, or what you eat.
Anorexia takes a severe toll on the body. Restrictive eating not only puts you at a dangerously low body weight, but it can also have other harmful consequences, such as:
- Bloating and/or constipation
- Teeth and gum damage
- Dry and yellowish skin
- Brittle nails
- Dizziness and fainting
- Loss of bone density
- A fine layer of hair covering the face and body
- Depression and irritability
The Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa
People with bulimia will binge eat a big amount of food and then purge to get rid of it before it can cause weight gain.
Do you think you may have bulimia? See if the following applies to you:
- You know you don’t want to binge eat or gain weight, yet you can’t seem to stop eating or have frequent binge eating episodes.
- Following the conclusion of the episode, you may feel compelled to lose any weight gained as a result of the binge. Purging (vomiting), laxatives, and diuretics are all options.
- You find that you’re starving yourself for days after a binge, exercise more than normal, or follow another form of severe diet to prevent gaining any weight.
- You sometimes strive to eat well and stick to a healthy (or restrictive) diet for a period of time, but eventually succumb to binge eating once again.
Bulimics, particularly those who purge, often suffer from a range of physical side effects of the disease. Some of these include:
- Bloating or abdominal discomfort
- Weight gain
- Swollen hands and/or feet
- Sore throat, sounding hoarse
- Broken blood vessels in the eyes
- Feeling faint and weak
- Mouth sores
- Tooth decay
- Constipation, ulcers, and acid reflux
The Signs and Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eaters consume large amounts of food in a short period of time and believe that they are unable to control themselves during these episodes. People with binge eating disorder do not purge after a binge eating episode.
Do you think you may have a binge eating disorder? See if the following applies to you:
- You may experience a variety of negative emotions during bingeing, such as guilt, shame, disgust, anger, and self-loathing. These sentiments might linger even after the binge has ended.
- You find that you gain a lot of weight in a short space of time, particularly after frequent bouts of binge eating.
Get Help for Your Eating Disorder
If you suspect that you have an eating disorder, it is vital that you get help as soon as possible.
Don’t let anyone convince you that eating disorders aren’t serious. Untreated eating disorders are linked to a greater risk of death than any other mental illness.
Your first point of call is to make an appointment with a therapist. Remember that an eating disorder is a form of mental illness, and it’s extremely difficult to overcome an eating disorder without professional help. A therapist can help you address your harmful relationship with food and your body, rephrase negative beliefs, and work on your self-esteem.
It is important to note that inpatient treatment may be necessary for more severe or life-threatening eating disorders. Inpatient care provides the advantage of allowing mental, emotional, physical, and medical health to be monitored in one place and under one treatment program. Daily therapy sessions and medical care are provided, offering you the best chance at recovery
Above all, remember that help is available. Many people have recovered from crippling eating disorders, and you can too. Help is available, whether it is through therapy, or inpatient treatment.
For more information about ‘Addiction Rehab Treatment’: https://addictionrehabtreatment.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/eating-disorders-types-and-treatment/