Detecting Sign of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Compulsive overeating

Eating Disorders have the power to severely impact the lives of sufferers and families. Psychological features of these disorders can leave individuals depressed, anxious, socially isolated, deeply fearful, and unable to cope with the daily tasks posed by work, school or relationships. Over time, physical health can deteriorate due to the persistent use of disordered eating behaviours, with potential effects including heart, renal and liver dysfunction, impaired immunity and electrolyte balance, diabetes, respiratory dysfunction, osteoporosis and death.

It is a disorder where young people use food in order to try to cope with their lives, which to them have become too painful and unmanageable. Concentration on food, and control over eating or not eating, enables them to sideline the painful and difficult problems in their lives. Eating or not eating then becomes the only control which they have over their lives, having lost control in most, if not all, other areas.

An eating disorder is for the most part a potentially fatal psychological disease.

It is not a disease of the appetite. Food (or as in the case of an alcoholic, alcohol) is not the issue. It merely underlies a deeply wounded, often damaged and hurt personality, clutching at eating or not eating in endeavouring to cope with life which has become unmanageable. It is not a slimmer’s disease. Super waif models do nothing to help promote nutritional normality, it is true, but they  have no doubt triggered many young people into anorexia, as has the current emphasis on dieting.

DETECTING THE SIGNS

Anorexia Nervosa

  • 30% body weight loss due to refusal to eat / varied excuses for missing meals
  • Wanting to lose weight when normal weight, or under weight
  • Intense fear of eating
  • Obsession about food or calories
  • Excessive exercising
  • Period problems leading to amenorhorrea
  • Moodiness and sleeping problems
  • Fainting and dizzy spells
  • Wearing baggy clothes to disguise weight loss
  • Increasing isolation and loss of friends
  • Always feeling cold, poor circulation
  • Growth of fine downy hair all over body
  • Reduced libido
  • Reluctance to admit to having a problem
  • Death

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Consuming enormous numbers of calories at one sitting
  • Disappearing to lavatory after food consumed: to vomit up same
  • Secretive behaviour, mood swings
  • Feeling out of control, helpless and lonely
  • No energy, generally unwell
  • Sore throat
  • Digestive problems
  • Erosion of tooth enamel, caused by vomiting stomach acids
  • Salivary gland enlargement in cheeks
  • Poor skin condition
  • Dehydration
  • Reluctance to admit to having a problem
  • Death

Compulsive overeating

  • Eating food by “picking” constantly, causing excessive weight gain. E.G. comfort eating

source: http://www.eatingdisorderscentre.co.uk

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Clinical – Editor in Chief :

Dr WIDODO JUDARWANTO, pediatrician

Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should carefully read all product packaging. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider

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