Warning Signs

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These may have already been mentioned in previous chapters, but I'm compiling them here. Due to the fact that Prader-Willi syndrome is usually discovered at birth, I will not be including it. I will also not be including Muscle Dysmorphia, NES, ARFID, EDNOS/OSFED, BDD and Rumination in this chapter, as they'll be in the next one in order to post this earlier.

ANOREXIA NERVOSA

•extreme weight loss.

•thin appearance.

•abnormal blood counts.

•dizziness or fainting.

•brittle nails.

•hair that thins, breaks or falls out.

•absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) {this is no longer included in the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa}.

•constipation.

•dry skin.

•intolerance of cold.

•low blood pressure.

•(sometimes extreme) dehydration.

•osteoporosis, (the loss of bone calcium, which may result in broken bones).

BULIMIA NERVOSA

•frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.

•a feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes.

•self-esteem overly related to body image.

•bloated cheeks ("chipmunk cheeks").

•popped eye vessels.

•evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or finding wrappers and containers indicating the consumption of large amounts of food.

•evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics.

•excessive, rigid exercise regimen- despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury, the compulsive need to "burn off" calories taken in.

•calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles from self-induced vomiting.

•discoloration or staining of the teeth.

•creation of lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge-and-purge sessions.

BINGE EATING DISORDER

•eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time, such as over a 2-hour period.

•feeling that eating behavior is out of control.

•eating rapidly during binge episodes.

•eating until uncomfortably full.

•feeling depressed, disgusted, ashamed, guilty or upset about eating.

•frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss.

•no repeated attempt to "get rid of" what was consumed during binges besides dieting healthily.

ORTHOREXIA NERVOSA

•obsessive concern over the relationship between food choices and health concerns such as asthma, digestive problems, low mood, anxiety or allergies.

•increasing avoidance of foods because of food allergies, without medical advice.

•noticeable increase in consumption of supplements, herbal remedies or probiotics.

•drastic reduction in opinions of acceptable food choices, such that the sufferer may eventually consume fewer than 10 foods.

•irrational concern over food preparation techniques, especially washing of food or sterilization of utensils.

•feelings of guilt when deviating from strict diet guidelines.

•increase in amount of time spent thinking about food.

•regular advance planning of meals for the next day.

•feelings of satisfaction, esteem, or spiritual fulfillment from eating "healthy".

•thinking critical thoughts about others who do not adhere to rigorous diets.

•fear that eating away from home will make it impossible to comply with diet.

•distancing from friends or family members who do not share similar views about food.

•avoiding eating food bought or prepared by others.

•worsening depression, mood swings, anxiety or OCD.

PURGING DISORDER

•dehydration.

•anemia.

•electrolyte imbalances.

•low blood pressure (hypotension).

•irregular heart beat (arrhythmia).

•weakened heart muscle, leading to possible heart failure in severe cases.

•possible kidney infection or damage.

•intestinal problems, such as diarrhea and constipation.

•stomach ulcers.

•sores in the mouth.

•damage to the esophagus (if vomiting is one of the purging methods used).

•broken blood vessels in the eyes, that may interfere with vision.

•overall muscle weakness, lethargy, and fatigue.

PICA

•repetitive consumption of nonfood items, despite efforts to restrict it, for a period of at least 1 month or longer.

•the behavior is considered inappropriate for your child's age or developmental stage (older than 18 to 24 months).

•the behavior is not part of a cultural, ethnic, or religious practice.

I used WebMD and Timberlineknolls.com as my resources, both of which I recommend for further research.

If you're having trouble envisioning what having a real Eating Disorder is like, check out Real Eating Disorder Stories by BlueEyes14 - it's a book containing several stories written by real people that have suffered from ED's.

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