In the United States, it is believed that over 8 million people struggle with eating disorders.
Having an eating disorder can be a life-threatening situation. When you notice the first signs of an eating disorder in a friend or family member, take action immediately. Eating disorders don’t only affect one age bracket or segment of the population.
Anyone can become the victim of an eating disorder at any time. Here are some signs you should look out for if you suspect someone you know has an eating disorder.
1. Skipping Meals
Not everyone is hungry at the same time all the time. That being said, one of the major signs of an eating disorder is skipping meals. This is one that you may notice in your children if you always eat together and they begin to skip meals.
You may also notice that they eat separately from the family. Check on them, make sure that they are eating. Hiding food, or disposing of it without eating can be done if they get the chance.
2. Obsessive Ingredient Checking
This is a sign that a lot of people miss, but can be an indicator of an eating disorder. If a person becomes very interested in what is in their food, often all of a sudden, they may be struggling with an eating disorder. There are various types of eating disorders, but Anorexia is often associated with this.
3. Going to the Bathroom
If you notice someone going to the bathroom after every meal, this could be indicative of an eating disorder. Eating disorder symptoms manifest in different ways, but those who struggle with Bulimia can seek to expel their food as soon as possible.
4. Binge Eating
When you discuss eating disorders, many people think of someone starving themselves or throwing up their food. Binge eating is also a disorder that may require eating disorder treatment. Look for signs of heavy eating or disappearing food, often in the middle of the night.
5. Sudden Life Changes
If a person undergoes rapid life changes they can become the victim of an eating disorder. Often people manifest eating disorders in response to events in their life. One of the most dangerous possibilities is pregnancy eating disorders.
6. Consistent Embarrassment of Avoidance of Food
If someone is embarrassed to eat with you, or avoids food, that could be one of their eating disorder signs. You don’t want to accuse a person without cause, but paying attention to their habits could give you vital additional clues. Treating an eating disorder isn’t easy, and often people don’t even realize they have one.
Signs of an Eating Disorder
There is no single sign that indicates a person has an eating disorder. Signs of an eating disorder can come in many forms. The goal is that once you notice something going on, you look for more than one sign, or speak to them.
If someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, we hope they find the help they need. If this article was helpful, feel free to look through the other information on our site.