See For Yourself: Do You Know Anyone Showing These Danger Signs of Eating Disorders?

Anorexia nervosa: Loss of a significant amount of weight; continuing to diet although thin; feeling fat, even after losing weight; intense fear of weight gain; loss of monthly menstrual periods; preoccupation with food, calories, ft contents, and nutrition; preferring to diet in isolation; cooking for others; hair loss; cold hands and feet; fainting spells; exercising compulsively; lying about food; depression, anxiety; weakness, exhaustion; periods of hyperactivity; constipation; growth of fine body hair on arms, legs and other body parts; heart tremors; dry, brittle skin, shortness of breath.

Bulimia: Binging, or eating uncontrollably; purging by strict dieting, fasting, vigorous exercise, vomiting, or abusing laxatives or diuretics in an attempt to lose weight; using the bathroom frequently after meals; preoccupation with body weight; depression; mood swings; feeling out of control; swollen glands in neck and face; heartburn; bloating; irregular periods; dental problems; constipation; indigestion; sore throat; vomiting blood; weakness, exhaustion; bloodshot eyes.

Binge eating disorder: Episodes of binge eating; eating when not physically hungry; frequent dieting; feeling unable to stop eating voluntarily; awareness that eating patterns are abnormal; weight fluctuations; depressed mood; feeling ashamed; antisocial behavior; obesity.

What should you do? It is not “polite” to be silent and let someone destroy her or his health and well-being. Let the person know what you see and what worries you. Do not try to make a final “diagnosis.” Local health care practitioners can help. Many communities have clinics and other agencies that offer specialized assistant in a confidential, supportive way.

Credit: This list of warning signs come from the American Anorexia Bulimia Association, Inc.



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