Eating disorders are characterized by an obsession with eating, exercise, bodyweight or shape. The person’s relationship with food is seen as ‘abnormal’ as detailed in the symptom lists below. Types of eating disorders include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
Eating disorders can have a significant negative impact on a person’s health and can lead to physical problems like anaemia, kidney problems, organ damage, or heart disease. Eating disorders also affect a person’s quality of life, their self-esteem, and their relationships.
Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:
- Restriction of food intake / extreme weight loss / excessive exercise
- Refusal to eat / lying about what they eat
- Repeatedly weighing themselves
- Insomnia / fatigue
- Low blood pressure
- Dehydration, dry skin, constipation
- Interrupted menstrual cycles
- Irritability / social withdrawal
Symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:
- Eating large amounts of food in a small amount of time
- Feeling guilty or embarrassed about the amount of food eaten
- Feeling out of control about how much is eaten
- Vomiting, exercising excessively or using laxatives to expel food eaten