Anorexia is an eating disorder in which individuals obsess about their weight. People with this disorder have a tremendous fear of gaining weight. In order to maintain their ideal weight, they will often starve themselves and exercise excessively. It is characterized by extreme thinness and dangerously low body weight. Unfortunately, no matter how much weight they lose, these individuals are never satisfied with their appearance. In addition, many people with anorexia are in self-denial about their problem. Therefore, it is imperative for their loved ones to recognize the following warning signs and seek medical and psychological help for them as soon as possible.
The first warning sign is persistently talking about and worrying about weight gain. Individuals with anorexia will weigh themselves several times per day. If they notice even a slight gain in weight, they will either restrict their eating or exercise in order to lose the weight. These individuals are also preoccupied with the calories and amount of fat in the food that they eat. In order to prevent weight gain, they will meticulously measure out every piece of food that they eat.
The next warning sign is a change in their mood. These individuals will begin to withdraw socially. They will no longer want spend time with their friends or family. They will also have a decreased interest in activities that they were once passionate about. People with anorexia also become irritable or angry very easily. Many individuals with anorexia also suffer from depression and will seem very sad and distant.
Secretive behavior is another sign of anorexia. These individuals will often lie to their loved ones about the amount of food that they have eaten. When around other people, they may fill up their plate with a normal amount of food and then sneak away to throw it away. In addition, many people with anorexia will wear over-sized clothing in order to hide their body.
Individuals with anorexia oftentimes have odd eating habits. For example, some people with anorexia have to chew their food a certain number of times before swallowing it. Other individuals may insist on cutting their food a specific way. Individuals with anorexia may also obsess about arranging the food on their plate in a very precise way. If their eating habits are interrupted in any way, they will oftentimes become very nervous and distressed.
Another warning sign of anorexia is a change in their physical appearance. People who are suffering from anorexia develop very pale skin. Their hair also becomes brittle and will even start to fall out. Their nails will become very weak and may even appear blue. In addition, their skin will become dry, scaly, and yellow. Due to the fact that individuals with anorexia do not receive enough protein in their diet, they will also have a significant decrease in muscle mass. Other physical signs of this eating disorder include tooth decay, swollen face, and the development of fuzzy hair all of the body.
The final sign of anorexia is fidgeting, or the inability to sit still. People with anorexia are constantly trying to find ways to burn calories. If they are in a situation where they have to sit, they will often tap their feet, swing their legs, or even sway from side to side. Fidgeting alone may not necessarily mean that an individual has anorexia. However, if it is accompanied by any of the above behaviors, your loved one may be suffering from this eating disorder.
Anorexia is a life-threatening eating disorder and should be taken very seriously. If your loved one shows any of the above signs, you should seek medical advice right away. If treated early enough, an individual with anorexia can live and happy and healthy life.