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Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder

Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

Is your child insecure about the way they look or spend excessive time inspecting their reflection?

Have you noticed a restricted diet or an unusual new eating or exercise pattern?  Complaints about being or feeling fat?

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Restrictive eating pattern
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Frequent weighing
  • Excessive exercise
  • Counting calories
  • Avoiding meals
  • Wearing baggy clothes
  • Increasing levels of anxiety and irritability

Physical Problems That Develop As Anorexia Progresses

Anorexia comes with a significant risk of developing health problems.

The menstrual cycle will often be interrupted, indicating a problem in calcium and hormone regulation. The body begins losing bone density through osteopenia and osteoporosis. Other health risks include a low metabolic rate, fatigue, fainting, lightheadedness, downy hair, constipation, and irregular heart rhythm.

Signs of Bulimia Nervosa

Do you or someone you love obsess over his or her weight? Have a pattern of rigid restrictive eating interspersed with "indulging" in "unhealthy" foods?

Are they taking long bathroom breaks or showers right after meals?

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa

  • Binge eating followed by purging behavior
  • Eating a large amount of food in a short period of time
  • Stringent dieting
  • Obsessing over weight and shape
  • Using the bathroom frequently after meals
  • Hiding food
  • Using laxatives
  • Struggling with depression and anxiety

Physical Problems Develop as Bulimia Progresses

Binging and purging regularly can create significant consequences for a person's health and well-being. People with bulimia can experience headaches, sore throat, stomach or digestive pain, and constipation. Often these problems are due to dehydration. This dehydration can lead to dangerous imbalances in the electrolytes that maintain the heart's rhythm. 

In addition, dental problems can develop after a long habit of vomiting, causing the loss of dental enamel that protects teeth. As a result, teeth may have to be extracted. Frequent vomiting can also put a great deal of pressure on the esophagus, and in rare cases lead to a ruptured esophagus.

Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Are you embarrassed about how much you eat? Compulsively eating large amounts of food in a short amount of time?

Do you eat in secret, and feel disgusted and ashamed after you eat?

Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder is similar to Bulimia Nervosa without the purging behaviors. It involves eating an objectively large amount of food in a short period of time, with the feeling of a loss of control over eating.  Food is often eaten in secret, followed by overwhelming feelings of shame and disgust.

During a binge, a person will eat much more rapidly than normal. They feel compelled to eat large amounts of food despite a lack of physical hunger and they typically eat until they feel uncomfortably full. They often hide food and eat in secret. They suffer from embarrassment and feel guilty and depressed after a binge. People with binge eating disorder may be normal weight, overweight, or obese, and suffer from significant weight fluctuations. 

Binge eating disorder creates a great deal of shame and guilt and frequently causes low self-esteem. People with Binge Eating Disorder can experience high levels of anxiety and depression. More men suffer from Binge Eating Disorder than from Anorexia or Bulimia.

Physical Problems from Binge Eating Disorder:

There are many physical problems that can develop as binge eating disorder progresses. The person may become overweight or obese, and risk developing type II diabetes. Increased blood pressure, heart disease, joint pain, sleep apnea, and gastrointestinal problems may result from the weight gain.