Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Reading time: 2 min

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

Read more

Substantiated information by:

Inés Hilker Salinas
Itziar Flamarique Valencia
María Caballero

Published: 14 January 2019
Updated: 14 January 2019

Subscribe

Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.