dO NOT WEIGH YOUR SELF-ESTEEM ON A SCALE

GRACE ON THE MOON

WARNING SIGNS OF AN EATING DISORDER

.

Look for these warning signs that can indicate a person is struggling with an eating disorder.  Keep in mind the stereotype that only emaciated people can have one, or be in real trouble, is outdated and untrue. Physical and mental health can be compromised at any size.   Not all signs have to be present in order for help to be sought. Note that EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) can draw from either list of warning signs.


 Anorexia/Bulimia:


  • Wearing baggy clothes or extra layers in order to hide weight loss or body size

  • Restricting food intake, going long periods of time without eating

  • Obsessed with food labels, number of calories, fat content, and other food facts

  • Constant thoughts and talk of food, eating, dieting, and/or cooking

  • Frequent exercising, often to the extreme

  • Binging and/or purging food

  • Fear of eating in front of others

  • Food rituals, such as pushing food around on the plate but not eating much, hiding food in a napkin or other place, chewing and spitting out food

  • Use of laxatives, diet pills, enemas, diuretics, or ipecac syrup

  • Hiding food in strange places (drawer, closet, suitcase, under bed, etc.) to appear as if they ate it or to binge eat later

  • Going to the bathroom for a long time after eating, often running water or creating other noise to hide purging sounds

  • Plumbing problems from food disposal or purging that clogs toilets and drains

  • Pronounced interest in books and websites about dieting, cooking and weight loss

  • Keeping a food diary with details about amounts and calories consumed

  • Visiting "pro-anorexia" or "pro-eating disorder" websites

  • Dizziness, light-headedness and headaches

  • Frequent sore throats or swollen glands, puffy cheeks (from purging)

  • Hair loss

  • Pale or grey skin

  • Loss of appetite

  • Often feeling cold

  • Low or high blood pressure

  • Irregular or loss of menstrual cycle

  • Incontinence or constipation

  • Bruised or calloused knuckles (from purging)

  • Bloodshot eyes

  • Loss of sexual desire or engaging in promiscuous behavior

  • Insomnia, irregular sleeping habits

  • Depression, anxiety, mood swings

  • Perfectionist tendencies

  • Low self-esteem, views self-worth in terms of weight and eating habits



Binge Eating Disorder:


  • Fear of not being able to control eating or being able to stop eating

  • Chronic dieting

  • Binge eating food

  • Constant thoughts and talk of food, eating, dieting and/or cooking

  • Hiding food in strange places (drawer, closet, suitcase, under bed, etc.) to binge eat later

  • Fear of eating in front of others

  • Keeping a food diary with details about amounts and calories consumed

  • Reliance on food as a source of comfort, especially during times of stress

  • Planning life around weight loss plans; believing happiness can only come after reaching a goal weight

  • Blaming social and professional problems on weight

  • High blood pressure and/or cholesterol

  • Dizziness, light-headedness, and headaches

  • Weight gain

  • Irregular or loss of menstrual cycle

  • Decreased mobility and/or joint pain due to weight gain

  • Depression, anxiety, mood swings

  • Insomnia, irregular sleeping habits

  • Loss of sexual desire or engaging in promiscuous behavior

  • Low self-esteem, views self-worth in terms of weight and eating habits