Symptoms of Eating Disorders

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A better prognosis depends on the early detection of the Eating Disorder (ED), thus it is important to pay attention to any alert signs.

Woman running to the bathroom

Behavioural signs

  • Behaviour and attitudes that indicate that the loss of weight and control of eating are becoming a major concern of the individual.
  • To miss meals with all types of pretexts. Meals not being finished or thrown away.
  • To hide or store food.
  • To go to the lavatory immediately after meals. To try to hide vomiting, or justify it.
  • Complaints about constipation and the use of laxatives, diuretics and or slimming pills.
  • To show a sudden interest in cooking and recipes. Prepare elaborate dishes, but not try them.
  • To be informed on the composition of foods and their energy value (to count calories).
  • To change eating habits, increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables, reducing or eliminating the consumption of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • Food “fads”. To cut it or break into very small pieces, shift it around on the plate, chew a lot, changes in the speed of eating, etc.
  • To enjoy when others eat, or encourage them to do so.
  • To chew chewing gum continuously or increase the consumption of diet drinks, coffee, or tea, normally with the aim of concealing the feeling of hunger.
  • Disappearance of large quantities of food, frequently “prohibited foods” due to being of high calorific value.
  • Increase in exercise, which is generally done alone and compulsively. To take advantage of any occasion to go walking or avoid taking lifts/elevators.
  • Not to tolerate well changes in daily routines, to suffer them with stress and anxiety.
  • Hides the body with wide clothes to conceal its shape or any weight loss.
  • Continuous unease. Not able to keep still or seated
  • Change in academic or work performance.

What are the differences between anorexia and bulimia?

Two faces with different moods

Emotional signs and changes in relationships with others

  • Intense fear of gaining weight.
  • Significant dissatisfaction with their own body, figure, and weight.
  • Distortion of body image (cannot realistically perceive their own body).
  • The only interests are food, exercise, and weight.
  • Low self‑esteem and elevated self-criticism.
  • Low mood state or frequent or sudden changes, irritability and/or anxiety.
  • An apparent lack of feelings. Does not express emotions, such as anger, happiness, sadness, pleasure, or anxiety.
  • Not to enjoy hobbies and abandon them, or any other activities that were pleasurable before.
  • Disinterest in relationships with other.
  • Distancing of friendships and isolation in the home.
  • Worsening of family relationships and of living together.

Información general de Mental Health in Children and Adolescents

Consulta toda la información relacionada con Mental Health in Children and Adolescents

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Substantiated information by:

Inés Hilker Salinas
Itziar Flamarique Valencia
María Caballero

Published: 14 January 2019
Updated: 14 January 2019

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