Signs of an Eating Disorder
Although we often use diagnostic terms such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, eating disorders can include different combinations of the signs and symptoms listed below.
Every person is different. A person’s signs and symptoms can change over time.
Eating disorders can range from mild (annoying) to severe (potentially fatal). If you, your friend, or your family member show some of these signs, consider getting help.
Behavioral Signs of an Eating Disorder:
- expressed fear of weight gain
- overeating throughout the day
- evidence of secret binging – missing food, hidden food wrappers
- frequent or severe dieting, food restriction, & fasting
- excessive exercising
- avoidance of exercising
- use of vomiting (ipecac), diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, enemas to promote weight loss
- frequent trips to the bathroom, especially after meals
- food rituals
- preparing food for others & not oneself
- avoidance of events where food is present
- preoccupation & talking about food & weight
- isolating oneself socially
- critical of self – perfectionist attitudes
- mood swings
- strong need for approval
- dressing in bulky clothes to hide weight changes
Physical Signs of an Eating Disorder:
- weight loss or gain – Many people who have eating disorders have no weight-related symptoms.
- no weight gain, despite frequent binges
- pain while exercising
- amenorrhea (lack of menstrual period)
- feeling cold
- fainting or dizzy spells
- swollen glands
- puffy cheeks
- broken blood vessels under eyes
- tooth decay
- sleep disorders
- achy joints
- reduced mobility
Ask your doctor to check your vital signs and general health.
I will not pressure you to change your behavior as this rarely works.
Instead, we will work together to find ways for you to cope with feelings and situations that are difficult for you. You will no longer need unhealthy eating behaviors to cope.
As your therapist, I will help you find ways to control your eating and improve your body image.