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What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Eating Disorders?

Though the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders doesn’t list every kind of eating disorder, there are many other eating disorders which can affect people. Taking on more popular names they include body image issues as well. For example, orthorexia is an unhealthy obsession with clean eating. Biggerexia is an obsession with muscle mass. Also not listed specifically under eating disorders is BDD, body dysmorphic disorder, which is commonly accompanied by eating disorders or eating disorder behaviors.

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Other Specified Feeding Or Eating Disorders

Negative Consequences Of Eating Disorders

  • Heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Respiratory failure
  • Lung damage from smoking
  • Brittle bones or bone disease
  • Muscular issues
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Malnourishment
  • Weakened kidneys
  • Substance use disorders
  • Other mental health disorders
  • Death

Diagnosing An Eating Disorder

When do the symptoms of an eating disorder warrant professional intervention? Many people experience phases of unhealthy obsessions with their body, their identity, and the food they eat. Problematically, diagnosing an eating disorder finds fault here. First, there is a belief that eating disorders have to be life threatening and serious to warrant treatment. Second, this belief is based on the stereotype that eating disorders are not significant mental health disorders. Unfortunately, an eating disorder doesn’t always create a drastic change in weight. Many of the symptoms are psychological and behavioral. Most often, these less obvious symptoms are well hidden by someone with an eating disorder.

Symptoms Of Eating Disorders

Here are some of the most common symptoms of someone struggling with any eating disorder:

  • Drastic change in diet, dietary restriction, or behaviors around food and eating
  • Routinely skipping meals, playing with food, or claiming not to be hungry
  • Excusing oneself during meal time to go to the bathroom
  • Sudden fixation on physical appearance
  • Justifying dietary changes or obsession with working out for being “healthy”
  • Demonstrated distorted thinking when confronted about their new behaviors
  • Inability to see the extremism in their actions
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Loss of hair, change in skin tone, and lack of energy
  • Abusing caffeinated substances, laxatives, or food known to cause an upset stomach

Eating disorders can develop at any stage in life. If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, help is available. Contact Harmony Place today for a private consultation and more information on our residential treatment programs with specialized tracks for eating disorders.