Table of Contents Hide
- What is anorexia?
- Potential warning signs of anorexia –
- 1. Extreme weight loss –
- 2. Preoccupation with weight and body size –
- 3. Refusal to eat certain foods or an obsession with calorie counting –
- 4. Avoiding mealtimes or eating in front of others –
- 5. Denial of hunger or the need to eat –
- 6. Withdrawal from social activities and events centered around food –
- 7. Lying about food intake or exercise –
- 8. Difficulty concentrating –
- 9. Dry skin and hair, or hair loss –
- 10. Constipation and stomach pains –
- 11. Irregular or absent menstrual cycles in women –
- 12. Extreme sensitivity to cold temperatures –
- 13. Insomnia –
- Final takeaway –
You should seek assistance if you suspect that you have anorexia. Many people are impacted by this eating disorder known as anorexia.
Lack of food intake is one of the key symptoms of anorexia. You might not eat because you believe you will look amazing if you lose weight. However, self-starvation might make you very ill or kill you, so you need assistance.
Like other eating disorders, anorexia may control your life and be very challenging to recover from. But with treatment, you can rediscover your identity, adopt healthier eating practices, and undo some of anorexia’s severe side effects.
What is anorexia?
Anorexia nervosa, commonly known as anorexia, is a serious mental disorder where individuals have an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image. They may engage in restrictive eating and excessive exercise, leading to a dangerously low body weight. They place a significant emphasis on maintaining their weight and appearance, often to the point of severely impacting their daily life and well-being.
People with anorexia typically severely restrict their food intake to avoid gaining weight or to keep losing weight. They can lower their calorie intake by forcing themselves to vomit just after eating or abusing laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, or enemas. They might also overexert themselves to shed weight. No matter how much weight is removed, the person’s anxiety about weight gain never disappears.
Potential warning signs of anorexia –
Here are 13 signs that may indicate someone is struggling with anorexia nervosa:
1. Extreme weight loss –
Sudden and extreme weight loss is a telling sign that you might suffer from anorexia. Concerns about putting up weight can lead to loss of appetite or restricting yourself from consuming food that might eventually lead to unhealthy weight loss.
2. Preoccupation with weight and body size –
Being concerned about your health and body size is a natural concern for most young people, but being overly obsessed about it can give you self-image and esteem issues. If you are a parent with a teenage child, you must be careful not to pass comments that might come across as negative criticism and trigger disorders.
3. Refusal to eat certain foods or an obsession with calorie counting –
Nutritionists often advise you to watch your calories which can lead some people to hyperfocus on restricting certain food items. Remember that you will never need to completely cut off any food item from your item unless you are allergic to it.
4. Avoiding mealtimes or eating in front of others –
This must be kept in mind if you are doubtful that one of your loved ones might be on the onset of anorexia. Parents must also take note of their children’s eating habits, as teenagers are the most prone to anorexia. If you find yourself being conscious about eating in front of others, it might be a sign of oncoming anorexia.
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5. Denial of hunger or the need to eat –
Denial of hunger or trying to suppress your appetite is a sure-shot sign of the onset of anorexia. In some cases, it might be a sign of other medical conditions, but if you deliberately suppress your hunger, it is a symptom of anorexia.
6. Withdrawal from social activities and events centered around food –
Withdrawal from social activities can signify medical conditions like depression, anorexia, social anxiety disorders, or sometimes a combination. It is normal to want to be by yourself sometimes, but if you hate interacting with other people, it might be a sign that you are prone to or suffering from a disorder such as anorexia.
7. Lying about food intake or exercise –
lying to your doctor or guardians about your food intake signals your conscious efforts to reduce your weight and your obsession with it. Losing sudden weight might lead to other medical complications as well. It would help if you never lie about your food intake and exercise habits, especially to your healthcare provider.
8. Difficulty concentrating –
You might face difficulty concentrating on small tasks during your daily life, which can result from weight loss or eating less than what your body needs to function optimally. If you find yourself fatiguing easily, unable to concentrate, and having excessive headaches, it might be a sign that you are not eating the right amount of food required for your body to function.
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9. Dry skin and hair, or hair loss –
your body stays healthy because of factors like eating the optimal amount of food, staying hydrated, and eating regularly. If you restrict your diet unnecessarily, it might lead to a deficiency of various nutrients and minerals. The deficiency might eventually lead to issues like dry patches of skin, hair loss, and dull skin.
10. Constipation and stomach pains –
Your bowel movements and digestive system function optimally with a regular healthy diet; skipping meals and cutting your food intake can lead to stomach and digestive issues due to a lack of proper fiber.
11. Irregular or absent menstrual cycles in women –
Your menstrual cycle depends on your overall health and nutrition. If you fail to nourish your body with the optimum nutrients, it can lead to anorexia which can disturb your menstrual cycle and lead to other issues with your reproductive health.
12. Extreme sensitivity to cold temperatures –
If you feel excessively cold, it might be due to decreased body fat which can reduce the insulation levels. Anorexia patients are also observed to have low core temperatures, so you must be careful if you notice this symptom, as it can signal anorexia.
13. Insomnia –
Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental illness characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, and an excessive desire to be thin. Individuals with anorexia may engage in restrictive eating patterns and excessive exercise, leading to significant weight loss and malnutrition. Among the various symptoms of anorexia nervosa, insomnia, or difficulty sleeping, is also a common one.
Final takeaway –
Anorexia is an eating disorder that might start as an innocent attempt to take care of your health but might lead to other health issues and affect you physically, socially, and emotionally. Eating disorders often accompany other mental health disorders, such as severe anxiety or depression. If you notice warning symptoms of anorexia, like sudden excessive weight loss, withdrawal from social life, and suppressing appetite, you should seek help. It can be medically treated, and you can overcome the disorder with proper therapy.