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Warning Signs Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder

About 30 million people in the United States have eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. If left untreated, these disorders may result in potentially fatal health problems such as heart attack, tachycardia, and heart arrhythmia.

Teenagers are particularly at risk of these eating disorders because most often onset during adolescence. This is possibly because of the vast changes that occur in the body and brain at this time. There is also social pressure. Teens who think they do not look good because they are fat may go to extreme measures to lose weight. It is crucial to seek prompt eating disorder treatment plan in Westport if you think your teen has abnormal eating habits. Here are signs to watch out for:

General Symptoms

Behaviors that indicate dieting, weight loss, and control of food should raise a concern. Teens with eating disorders may be preoccupied with their weight and their intake of carbohydrates, fat, and calories. They may also refuse to eat certain types of food and engage in food rituals. You may notice that they eat only food from a particular food group or they chew food excessively.

Dieting may also become frequent, as they increasingly become more conscious about how they look. You may notice them frequently checking the mirror for flaws in their appearance. They can also become uncomfortable eating with others and may withdraw from their usual activities and even friends.

There may be noticeable fluctuations in their weight. You may also see changes in their behavior. People with eating disorders may exhibit extreme mood swings and have sleep problems.

Restrictive eating will eventually have an effect on your child’s health. They may complain about fainting, stomach cramps, and feeling cold all the time. They may have anemia, low potassium and low thyroid and hormone levels. Girls may miss menstrual periods.

People with eating disorders may have cuts and calluses across the top of their finger joints because of frequent induced vomiting, lanugo or fine hair in the body, dental problems, as well as cavities and discoloration of teeth from vomiting.

Anorexia Nervosa

Individuals suffering from this disorder typically have an obsessive fear of gaining weight and an unrealistic perception of their body image. Those with anorexia nervosa often limit the quantity of the food they eat because they see themselves as overweight, regardless of the fact they are underweight. They may also use laxatives or diet aids, vomit after eating, and engage in rigid exercise despite the weather, illness, or injury.

Bulimia Nervosa

girl eating pizza next to toiletPeople with this eating disorder are characterized by repeated binge eating followed by behaviors that aim to compensate for overeating. The disappearance of a large amount of food in a short time could be a sign of binge eating. Evidence of purging behavior includes frequent trips to the bathroom after a meal, the smell of vomit, and packaging of laxatives and diuretics.

Teenagers suffering from eating disorders are at risk of a range of health problems. Make sure to provide them with prompt treatment if you see warning signs of unhealthy eating habits.

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