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Recognize an Eating Disorder

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Typical symptoms for binge eating include: weight change typically increases, change in eating patterns, skipped meals then eating in hiding, hiding food, eating to hide emotions, eating when emotional or bored, chronic dieting, fad diets, use of diet pills, eating a lot of food at one time (the entire pizza, the entire box of cookies, the entire pint of ice cream), eating alone, fatigue, weakness, mood swings, moodiness, and depression.

Given all of this, the most severe symptoms are malnutrition, seizures, heart arrhythmias, bone fractures, suicidal ideations, self-harm, and death.

Many people with eating disorders go to extremes for attempted weight loss with laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, and over-exercising in an attempt to burn all of the calories away. In fact, those who use exercise as one of their tricks often put exercise above everything else in life and will exercise several times a day or for long periods of time for weight loss.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, don’t wait. Help them get the help they need and talk with your teenagers before it becomes a problem. Research is showing that eating disorders are on the rise in those less than 12 years old. Unfortunately, many may not know, care, or recognize that they have a problem in the first place. If it’s you or a family member, consult with your health care provider today and get supported before it’s too late.

References:
1. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/743265?src=cmemp
2. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/568982
3. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/733387

Reviewed June 9, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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