Anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating are all types of eating disorders that affect thousands of people each year. Although more women than men suffer from eating disorders, it is very common in both and can have detrimental effects on your health if you do not receive professional help (MayoClinic,2018). Below, are common traits of those affected by an eating disorder.
Weight loss, and/or control of food becomes main priority
If you notice that someone very close to you is starting to prioritize food over their entire life, this is something to look out for. Whether the person is trying to lose extreme weight, or gain extreme weight; having an obsession with food and weight is a recognizable sign of an eating disorder.
Appears uncomfortable eating around others
This may seem less common, but those who are developing eating disorders shy away from eating around others in fear that they will be judged for either eating too much or eating too little. This may indicate that there are some insecurities in a person’s eating habits.
Extreme concern with body image or size
This may be one of the first signs of an eating disorder. Spending an abundance of time in the mirror deciding if you are overweight may lead to anorexia, and believing you are too underweight may lead to binge-eating. If you notice someone close to you always looking in the mirror and making negative comments about their bodies; this is a recognizable trait for either a present eating disorder or one in the near future.
Frequent health issues
Those suffering from eating disorders not only may have other mental health issues that are hard to control, but the physical body may begin to break down. Here are some physical symptoms that are common with eating disorders
- Fluctuation in weight
- Low body temperature/ feeling cold all the time
- Dental problems
- Muscle weakness
- Poor immune functions
The National Eating Disorder Association has spent many years shedding light on eating disorders. If you are looking for more information about specific types that include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, otherwise specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), and many others, please visit their website for more information: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/warning-signs-and-symptoms