Do you suspect a loved one has an eating disorder like anorexia?
Eating disorders can take a huge toll on people’s wellbeing and sometimes even lead to death. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that affects up to 4.2% of women in their lifetime.
Although it doesn’t seem like a high percentage, anorexia affects nearly 6.28 million women, some of which are teenagers.
However, men and boys can develop anorexia, too. If you know what to look for, you can help prevent the dangerous side effects of anorexia and help your loved one seek treatment to overcome it.
Signs of Anorexia
Knowing the signs of anorexia can help get your friend or loved one help as soon as possible.
The most common sign of someone developing anorexia is not eating. They may use the excuse that they are not hungry or claim they have already eaten.
When they do eat, they may refuse to eat certain foods, such as those high in simple carbohydrates. People with this disorder will also seem obsessively interested in the number of calories or fat grams in their food.
People who are anorexic or developing the disorder may be obsessive about exercising. Since they see themselves as fat and want to lose weight, they may frequently go running or go to the gym and workout to an extreme degree. After eating, they may talk of needing to burn off those calories.
Dresses in Layers
Many women who are developing anorexia will dress in layers to disguise their weight loss and to keep warm. Losing an extreme amount of weight can result in someone with this disorder always feeling cold because they have an intolerance to cold.
When the body is deprived of nutrients, its functions are affected. As a result, a person’s thought processes will slow down and they may have difficulty with memory or concentrating.
Many women may also become depressed, stop doing the activities they loved and withdraw from family and friends. However, to try to hide what they are doing, they may claim to feel great and not admit to having any difficulties.
Obsessive About Appearance
Someone who is developing anorexia will obsess over their appearance and how much they weigh. They may constantly check their appearance in the mirror to try to find flaws or weigh themselves several times a day.
If you are concerned about someone who may be developing anorexia, you can measure their body mass index, or BMI, by calculating it with the OkCalculator. All you need to do is input their height and weight to get their BMI. Anorexia is usually diagnosed if a patient has a BMI of 17.5 or less.
Anorexia is a dangerous eating disorder because it can result in death. However, if the signs of it are spotted early, then treatment is available to help people overcome their perceived body image problems.
With treatment from trained mental health professionals, they can overcome their eating disorder and live a healthy life.