Eating disorders are a severe condition related to persistent eating behaviours that negatively impact your health, emotions, and ability to function in critical areas of life.
Signs and symptoms of anorexia include:
- if you’re under 18, your weight and height being lower than expected for your age
- if you’re an adult, having an unusually low body mass index, BMI.
- missing meals, eating very little or avoiding eating any foods you see as fattening
- believing you’re fat when you’re a healthy weight or underweight
- taking medicine to reduce your hunger (appetite suppressants)
- your periods stopping (in women who have not reached menopause) or not starting (in younger women and girls)
- physical problems, such as feeling lightheaded or dizzy, hair loss or dry skin
Some people with anorexia may also:
- make themselves sick
- do an extreme amount of exercise
- use medicine to help them poo (laxatives) or to make them pee (diuretics)
All to try to stop themselves from gaining weight from any food they do eat.
People with bulimia have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating substantial amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. This binge-eating triggers behaviour that compensates for overeating, such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviours. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, average weight, or overweight.
Signs and symptoms of bulimia include:
- Chronically inflamed and sore throat
- Swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw area
- Worn tooth enamel and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth as a result of exposure to stomach acid
- Acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems
- Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
- Severe dehydration from purging of fluids
- Electrolyte imbalance (too High or low levels of sodium, calcium, potassium, and other minerals) these incorrect levels can lead to stroke or heart attack.
Binge-eating disorder, signs:
- People with binge-eating disorder lose control over their eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, after binge-eating, no purging, excessive exercise, or fasting take place.
Binge-eating symptoms include:
- Eating enormous amounts of food in a specific amount of time, such as two within hours.
- Eating even when you’re full or not hungry.
- Eating fast during binge episodes.
- Eating until you’re uncomfortably full.
- Eating alone or in secret to avoid embarrassment.
- Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about your eating.
- Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss.