Recognising The Signs of Eating Disorders| Jordan Rodbell
Jordan Rodbell is alarmed at the increasing incidence of eating disorders among Americans. He is not a mental health expert but he has a passion for sharing information on effective behavioral health treatments. It is his goal to do whatever he can to help people maintain healthy eating habits. If you think you or a loved one may have an eating disorder, below are some common symptoms.
Anorexia is often characterized by refusing to eat for long periods, eating at odd times, refusing to eat with other people, and eating strange foods or combinations of foods. It is marked by a preoccupation with thinness, extreme weight loss, chills even in warm weather, and covering up with loose or heavy clothing when it’s hot outside. Anorexics often have waxy, pale skin, chipping, purple-tinged nails, amenorrhea (loss of menstrual period), and thinning hair. Sufferers of severe or advanced anorexia will often grow a pale, fine layer of hair called lanugo on their body or face.
Bulimia is another very common eating disorder most characterized by periods of binge eating and purging through vomiting or use of laxatives. Bulimics often hoard food, eat at strange times, and eat more than their stomachs can hold. Bulimics often start a binge with a “marker”–a brightly colored food that, once it is purged, signifies that all of the food has left the body. Many bulimics have eroded teeth as the stomach acids in vomit wear away the enamel, and scrapes on the knuckles from using their fingers to start the purging.
Compulsive overeating or emotional overeating is becoming more common among people of all ages. Often considered similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is most recognized by eating when the sufferer is not hungry, in response to emotional triggers or external stress, or habit. Compulsive overeating is not as well understood as other eating disorders, but can be just as dangerous.
Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)
EDNOS is generally considered a non-specific eating disorder, although it is rather common, because it tends to occur in people who combine symptoms of all eating disorders. EDNOS sufferers often go through binge-purge cycles interchanged with starving cycles. They may also show signs of other disorders like hoarding food, eating alone, and marked fluctuations in weight.
If you or a loved one suffers from any of these symptoms, please consult with your doctor. Please also check out the related articles by Jordan Rodbell on this site. Please share, vote, or retweet this article.