Understanding whether you have an eating disorder can be tricky to establish, but if you do, it wouldn’t be uncommon. In the USA alone, around 30 million people have an eating disorder, so there’s a high chance that either you or someone you know will have one.
A behavioural disorder can be hugely detrimental to a person’s health, so identifying one can be vitally important to avoid long-term problems.
But how do you know if you or a friend has one? Well, there are a couple of telltale signs that are well worth paying attention to…
Changes in eating habits and patterns
Of course, the most obvious one is potential changes in eating habits. You need to be honest with yourself and ask why you may have decided to eat alone more frequently, or why you have all of a sudden become fixated on certain food types, recipes, and fad diets.
What’s more, think about how you feel, or perhaps how a person acts after meal times. Some people can experience discomfort, depression or even guilt following meals, which again can be a sign that everything isn’t ok when it comes to your eating habits.
One of the many reasons people develop eating disorders is due to insecurities about their bodies. This isn’t uncommon. A study in the UK found that over 60% of adults feel negative about their body image but, what needs to be avoided, is then obsessing about the calories and fat content of foods. While it is important to get the right nutrients in your body, that is part of a healthy and well-balanced diet, rather than the obsession about body size and how to decrease that.
Rapid fluctuations in weight
People will naturally lose and gain weight depending on things like exercise and even times of year. This can be natural, and will happen over time. However, drastic changes or unusual weight loss fluctuations will often be noticed by those around the person and is one of the most obvious signs of an eating disorder.
Alongside this, because a person won’t be getting the nutrients they need, those with eating disorders may also have other physical signs such as hair loss, dry hair, and skin, as well as irregular menstruation in women.
For, it’s important to check in with yourself and decide whether this is happening to you. If you are worried, maybe even start making a diary of your weight, which could well be the determining factor to getting the help you need.