How to detect the physical and emotional signs of anorexia

June 7th, 2016

Anorexia is one of the most well-known eating disorders. Many celebrities have struggled with it over the years including Karen Carpenter, Diana Ross, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, and even the Crown Princess of Sweden. Just because it’s well-known, though, doesn’t always mean it’s easy to spot. In fact, many people aren’t familiar enough with the signs of anorexia to seek help when it becomes necessary. Understanding what to watch for is absolutely key in ensuring the sufferer gets the help he or she needs as soon as possible.

The Physical Symptoms

Those who suffer from anorexia are likely to appear very thin. They may suffer from fatigue and insomnia. Dizziness and fainting are quite common, as is thinning hair. The fingers sometimes suffer from a bluish discoloration, and he or she might have dry skin. Low blood pressure is also usually present, as is dehydration.

The Emotional Symptoms

Anorexia isn’t exclusively a physical condition, though. There are often mental symptoms that accompany the disorder as well. You may notice a refusal to eat or a denial of hunger. Preoccupation with food is quite common, as is a fear of gaining weight. Lying about food and eating often occurs. And, a lack of emotion including social withdrawal may occur.

Warning Signs

If you see any of the following become routine, seek help immediately.

  • Regular skipping of meals
  • Routine excuses for not eating
  • Consumption of only a few low-calorie foods
  • Rigid eating rituals
  • Repeated weighing
  • Refusal to eat in public
  • Complaints about weight
  • Calluses on knuckles caused by induced vomiting

Eating disorders like anorexia are always serious, and they can have life altering consequences. If you suspect someone you love may have an eating disorder, please seek help immediately. You can contact Healthy Futures in Scottsdale with concerns at (480) 451-8500. We also offer offers this FREE online screening to guide you in determining whether to seek further help and/or a professional care.