Anorexia Warning Signs And Symptoms To Watch Out For

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that could lead to serious health problems. People with the condition usually try unhealthy and extreme diets and exercise to rapidly achieve their desired weight. 

Anorexia can be either restrictive eating and binge eating. People with the restrictive form of the disorder have very limited food options, while those with binge anorexia frequently force themselves to vomit after eating.

The eating disorder commonly affects people with low self-esteem, according to Healthline. Research showed that females in their teenage and young adult years have higher risk of developing anorexia.

It can be difficult to tell if someone has the disorder. Many of its signs are also experienced or done by healthy people, such as wearing layered clothes to hide weight loss and complaining about being fat or overweight. 

People with anorexia are also reserved and secretive. But being aware of the warning signs of the eating disorder may still help recognize patients. 

Experts said detecting anorexia early could help increase the patient’s chance of recovery.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia

Diet Obsession

People with anorexia may constantly think about food and their calorie intake. Patients usually keep a record of every food they eat and the water they consume. 

The obsession with food could lead to sudden decrease in their daily consumption. In some cases, it encourages people to try extreme diets, such as fasting for several hours to days.  

Mood Changes

The effects of anorexia could make an individual highly sensitive to criticism, failure and mistakes. That is why the eating disorder has been linked to perfectionism, depression, anxiety and impulsivity.

Mood changes potentially occur due to disrupted hormones, such as serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, cortisol and leptin, in the body. These hormones help regulate mood, appetite, motivation and behavior.

Distorted Body Image

Having a negative body image is one of the most common signs of anorexia. Patients may overestimate their body size, thinking they are much bigger than they actually are. 

They also spend more time body checking by repeatedly looking in a mirror, checking body measurements and pinching fat on certain parts of the body.

Too Much Exercise

Aside from highly restricted diets, anorexia signs also include extreme exercise. Patients may spend more time in the gym, walk frequently and fidget to lose weight. 

One study suggested that people with eating disorders are more likely to be compulsive exercisers. Some patients may also feel intense guilt when they miss a workout.

Ignoring Food And Hunger

Anorexia could lead to irregular eating patterns and low appetite. People experience hormonal imbalances and irregularities in hunger, which put them at risk of sudden weight gain and trigger their fear of eating. 

Other Signs Of Anorexia

  • Cooks meals for others without eating
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Discoloration of teeth because of frequent vomiting
  • Cuts and calluses on top of finger joints due to induced vomiting
  • Fine hair on body
  • Thinning of hair on head, dry and brittle hair

Diet Poor diet and significant weight gain have been linked to numerous health problems, including higher risk of obesity. Pixabay