Eating disorders are characterized by an unhealthy relationship with food. These conditions more often affect teens and young adults and tend to be more common among girls and women.
People with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder often hide their unhealthy behaviors towards food. An organization that offers an eating disorder treatment program in Westport, Connecticut cites some signs and symptoms to watch out for.
Constant and repetitive dieting, such as skipping meals, fasting, and replacing meals with fluids, as well as binge eating, are some behaviors that are associated with eating disorders. Frequent trips to the bathroom during or shortly after meals could be a sign of intentional vomiting and laxative abuse, which are common in patients who constantly count calories and avoid food. People with eating disorders may also secretly eat food or lie about the amount and type of food that they ate.
Sudden weight loss and frequent changes in weight could indicate a problem. Individuals with eating disorders may also show signs of frequent vomiting, such as swollen cheeks and calluses on knuckles. They are likewise sensitive to cold even in a warm environment and may stop having menstrual periods.
While the exact cause of eating disorders remains unclear, they appear to be associated with medical and psychological issues, such as depression and low self-esteem. Increased preoccupation with appearance, weight, and body shape, as well as intense fear of gaining weight, could be symptoms of eating disorders.
Patients may also be constantly preoccupied with food or activities associated with food. They tend to have a distorted body image, such that they complain about being fat when they are actually underweight.
People with eating disorders are at increased risks of heart or kidney failure. The condition could even be fatal if left untreated. An eating disorder treatment program could be life changing for individuals suffering from anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating.