Have you suffered from an eating disorder or know anyone who has had to suffer through one? Statistics reveal that at least 30 percent of people have had an eating disorder at one point in their life. The sad thing is that there are people who do not know they were having an eating disorder and thought it was just a random change in their eating habits. Nevertheless, eating disorders are medically recognized illnesses and thus require medical attention for the patient to recover. Eating disorders come in different types, and include conditions such as anorexia nervosa, rumination disorder, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa, among others.
There are treatment options for every eating disorder. However, how do you know that you are suffering from an eating disorder, and that you need a treatment plan for anorexia nervosa, for example? These eating disorders vary slightly; however, they exhibit similar symptoms in individuals. Here are the common symptoms that you can look out for.
Excess Attachment or Detachment to Certain Foods
There is no doubt that individual taste buds are different and therefore, one may not like a particular food in the same way that another does. However, extreme liking and hating of food could be an alarm. When you notice an individual hating or liking certain foods too much, there could be more there than simple preference or distaste for particular food items. In this case, it becomes essential to change the perception of food.
Eating in Seclusion
In most families and institutions, mealtime is a gathering time where everyone sits down and enjoys their meal in the company of others. An individual with any eating disorder tends to stay away from everyone during meal times. The habit of eating in seclusion often starts with excuses that the person is not hungry. Later, the person will either eat alone or not eat at all. Family members and friends can spot this symptom before the eating disorder becomes extreme.
Negativity in Regard to Body Image
Although one may not be in the ‘perfect’ body, individuals with any eating disorder have an unhealthy obsession with their body and its appearance. In people with eating disorders, you will notice a sudden dislike about their current body shape and size. The negative perception of body image will, in time, trickle down and affect other areas of life.
Rapid Change in Weight
Weight gain or loss can occur due to factors such as hormonal changes, changes in eating habits, and exercise patterns. However, drastic and sudden changes in weight could be a sign of a bigger underlying issue. A medical professional can assess whether the change in weight is normal, or if one has an eating disorder.
Medical professionals typically discourage self-diagnosis, especially when you are suffering from an eating disorder. However, understanding and recognizing some of the symptoms that are being exhibited when by someone suffering from an eating disorder is important for everyone. Once these are identified, it becomes a little easier to go and see a medical practitioner for proper diagnosis. The earlier the medical practitioner diagnoses the eating disorder, the sooner the patient receives the appropriate treatment, and the faster the recovery process.