Eating Disorder (Anorexia or Bulemia)

Eating disorders include

Anorexianervosa(often just called anorexia)or self-starvation,which can be accompanied by obsessive exercise

Bulimia, which is self-induced vomiting or purging

Binge eating or Gorging, where patients over-eat

Combined types, where for example, binging is followed by purging

These disorders, which often start in the per-teen and early teen years, can be accompanied by serious emotional and physical problems. They are best treated early and actively before the patterns become ingrained, so it is important to recognize the symptoms as soon as possible.

Symptoms

  • Weight loss
  • Preoccupation with weight, "being fat," body shape, or specific body parts Comparing to others
  • New eating habits
    • Refusing to eat certain foods or food groups (carbs or fatty foods)
    • Avoiding family meals
    • Drinking large amounts of water or diet sodas
    • Going to the bathroom right after eating
  • Obsessive exercise
  • Laxative use or the smell of vomit.
  • Hiding body in baggy clothes
  • Withdrawal from friends and previously enjoyed activities

Children and teens rarely lose weight unless it's intentional or they have an unrecognized illness, so it's important that they see their physician promptly,

Nutritional Consequences

The body is not getting the nutrients needed, leading to serious potential problems:

  • Salt (electrolyte) imbalance and nutrient deficiencies
  • Muscle weakness and wasting
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis)
  • Hair loss and dry skin
  • Tooth staining and decay, if vomiting
  • Fatigue, weakness and depression
  • Dehydration (kidney failure is possible)
  • Slow heart rare and low blood pressure (heart failure is possible)

As a result, it's important to recognize the symptoms and obtain the medical help needed to avoid the consequences and to begin treatment, often with an entire team of skilled professionals.