Anorexia nervosa, often called anorexia, is a complex form of disordered eating. Someone suffering from anorexia avoids eating for fear of gaining weight, but their very perception of weight, especially as it relates to their body, is distorted in their mind. As they consume less and less food, their body weight can fall to dangerously low levels, leading to severe health problems or even death. Their impaired mental perception regarding body weight means they can still feel like they are not thin enough, even as their body is dying.
What are the symptoms and signs of anorexia? Do you suspect someone you love of having this deadly form of disordered eating? If they suffer from anorexia, how can they get the help they need? Many people often turn to drugs or alcohol to further their eating disorders. Contact 866.238.3154 for an addiction treatment program near me.
About Symptoms of Anorexia
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, your loved one’s chances for recovery increase when they get anorexia nervosa treatment early. If you believe you see signs and symptoms of anorexia, do not wait for the professional consultation you need. This can make the difference between life and death if they continue to build negative eating patterns.
If you suspect disordered eating, make yourself aware of the warning signs and symptoms of anorexia. Remember that your loved one may show only some symptoms at any given point in their disorder. Symptoms of anorexia also vary from person to person. Still, by reviewing these signs, you may spot them in the life of someone who needs help.
Behavioral Symptoms of Anorexia
The behavioral signs and symptoms of anorexia include:
- Dramatic weight loss
- Wearing layers to hide appearance or stay warm
- Strong focus on food, fat content, calories, and diets
- Refusing to eat or eating a highly restricted diet
- Frequently talking about being fat or overweight
- Complaints of physical changes like fatigue and abdominal pain
- Denial of hunger
Beyond these behavioral signs, you may notice they practice food rituals, like chewing for long periods and rearranging their plated food. They may cook for others but do not eat. Avoiding food through excuses or excessively exercising after eating may also indicate possible anorexia.
Perhaps you notice your loved one is withdrawn from friends, social events, and favorite activities. They possibly refuse to eat in public and show intense fear of gaining weight, mood swings, and shifting emotions.
Physical Signs of Anorexia
The most obvious physical sign of anorexia is extreme weight loss. However, several other physical changes may present themselves, including:
- An impaired immune system leads to more frequent illness
- Menstrual irregularity
- Cold sensitivity
- Stomach cramps and acid reflux
With anorexia, your loved one has problems concentrating, feels dizzy, faints, and can suffer sleep problems. Their dental health and skin, nail, and hair quality also suffer. Many people with disordered eating experience thinning hair on their heads, yet the growth of fine hair all over their bodies. Their muscles feel weak, their skin yellows, and their extremities feel cold.
Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia and Other Disorders
Anorexia is just one form of disordered eating. Another type of disorder is bulimia nervosa, in which someone uses an unhealthy cycle of eating large amounts of food and then purging. Binge-eating disorder is the excessive consumption of food without purging.
Often, multiple types of eating disorders go together. Someone with anorexia may also practice bulimia and binge eating. Also, people suffering from a kind of disordered eating tend to have other mental health issues. This often includes depression, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or anxiety.
It’s important to note that even though many only diagnose eating disorders when someone is below a certain BMI, disordered eating can occur in persons of any size. Often, larger persons will be praised for their weight loss, even if they use disordered methods to achieve this. It’s also important to note that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are much more likely to have an eating disorder.
Getting Qualified Help for Anorexia with Santé Center for Healing
If you notice these signs or symptoms of disordered eating, you need immediate professional help. Waiting is never a good option, as the condition quickly spirals out of control. A reputable treatment center can provide you or a loved one the medically assisted help they need to address the physical and mental aspects of anorexia nervosa.
Important therapies and programs for anorexia include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Residential and intensive outpatient programs
- Individual counseling
- Family therapy and support groups
- Group therapy
- Alum work
Seek help and healing for you or your loved one by calling Santé Center for Healing in Argyle, TX, now at 866.238.3154. They can provide a path to a healthier, happier life after anorexia.