Signs of Eating Disorders to Look for
Eating disorders have been a problem for a very long time. Just in the past twenty years or so they have come to the forefront and we are starting to understand them and deal with them. The signs are sometimes easy to recognize, but even then, the results can be devastating.
Could It Be an Eating Disorder?
There are many types of eating disorders. The three most common types are binge eating, anorexia and bulimia. Each one is different in the way a person acts with the disorder, the effects of the disorder and the risks involved with each disorder.
Binge eating is not totally based on weight control. A binge eater will eat large amounts of food at once. They normally try to hide their eating or will eat very fast in hopes that no one notices just how much they eat. Binge eating affects a smaller amount of people than other eating disorders, but is still a huge danger none the less.
Some signs of binge eating include eating large amounts of food and hiding while eating those foods. Binge eaters usually go on diets but there is usually no weight loss. In fact, many binge eaters will gain weight while on a diet due to the quantity of food they eat while on a binge.
The results of binge eating can be very harmful. Not only do binge eaters have a tendency to become obese they are opening themselves up to things such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular problems and even Type 2 Diabetes.
Anorexia and bulimia are often hard to distinguish from each other. The two are very different but itís not unusual for someone to suffer from both. Anorexia is when someone restricts their calorie intake dramatically. They can go for long periods of time without eating anything and will often take diet pills because they feel they need to lose weight.
Anorexia sufferers can cause themselves life threatening problems. These include heart disease, heart failure, anemia, bone loss, gastro-intestinal diseases and kidney or lung problems.
Although bulimia is close to the same as anorexia the person who suffers from this disease will eat. They then force themselves to purge the food they have just eaten. Because of this many suffer from a ruptured esophagus and tooth decay.
If you believe someone you care about is suffering from anorexia or bulimia some of the signs to watch for are rapid loss of weight, fatigue, dizziness or fainting. They also include thinning hair, hair loss, dry lips, brittle nails, constipation or diarrhea, menstrual problems in woman, dehydration and major changes in eating habits. These symptoms can also include frequent weighing and complaints about how they look, along with refusing to eat most foods and making frequent trips to the bathroom especially right after eating.
Eating disorders are not something to play around with. They are caused by emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety and even panic attacks. These disorders can also make the emotional disorders worse. If you feel someone you care about has an eating disorder, intervene as quickly as possible. In the end it will save their health and very possibly their life.