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  • Eating Disorder Warning Signs


    Eating Disorder Warning Signs

    There are many different warning signs that indicate the existence of an eating disorder. The presence of one or more of these behaviors means there is a high likelihood that immediate professional treatment is warranted.

    Fortunately, a coordinated treatment plan that includes medical supervision, family therapy and customized goals and objectives combined with monitored eating and meal planning can help individuals to eventually overcome their eating disorder and find peace.

    Co-occurring disorders that are often strong contributing factors such as addiction, trauma, depression and anxiety should also be diagnosed and treated concurrently with the eating disorder in order to provide the best chance for a healthy and sustained remission of symptoms.

    Below is a list of common behaviors and physical symptoms associated with an eating disorder:

    Behaviors:

    • Constant dieting, regardless of weight
    • Constantly Exercising for hours at a time
    • Withdrawing from family or friends
    • Refusing to eat, or restricting caloric intake
    • Overeating (binge eating), often secretly
    • Eating rituals, such as chewing and spitting without swallowing
    • Cutting food into tiny pieces
    • Only eating “safe” foods low in calories in order to avoid weight gain
    • Consuming laxatives or diuretics
    • Taking stimulants or illicit drugs to decrease appetite
    • Hoarding food
    • Frequent trips to the bathroom
    • Purging (vomiting) after meals

    Physical Symptoms:

    • Underweight appearance, with protruding bones and sunken cheeks
    • Loss of menstruation in women (amenorrhea), or atypical menstrual cycles
    • Brittle fingernails
    • Hair loss or thinning
    • Vertigo (dizziness or fainting)
    • Frequent Fatigue
    • Lanugo (baby fine hair covering the face and body)
    • Sensitive teeth from loss of enamel due to frequent purging
    • Sore joints and muscles from compulsively exercising

    Common thoughts and feelings experienced by individuals suffering from an eating disorder are:

    Thoughts:

    • Low self-esteem
    • Poor self-image
    • Self-loathing
    • Preoccupation with one’s physical appearance or body shape
    • Denying and blocking out hunger cues
    • Obsessive thoughts about daily caloric intake

    Feelings:

    • Feelings of guilt, sadness and depression
    • Wanting to be perfect
    • Isolation
    • Shame
    • Feeling out of control

    Know that you are not alone, help is available, and treatment works. Call us today if you think you or someone you love might have an eating disorder, and we will schedule a confidential Psychological Evaluation and Assessment at your convenience.

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