Do I Have An Eating Disorder?

Eating Disorder Advice in Lincolnshire and surrounding areas.

Some people with disordered eating recognise that their relationship with food is or is becoming problematic, others maybe unsure.

The best way to find out if you or someone you know has an eating disorder is to be assessed by a specially trained Eating Disorder Practioner. However, often there are many clues that point to an eating disorder such as:-

• Not eating at all.
• Not eating certain foods like sugars and fats.
• Eating in unusual ways, such as very small and slow bites, or what seem like odd food combinations.
• Becoming anxious or distressed at the end of a meal perhaps going straight to the bathroom.
• Vomit after food.
• Take Laxatives.
• Visible changes in weight (gaining or losing rapidly).
• Associated mood changes such as irritability, withdrawal from family and friends, isolation, low energy, sadness, and sometimes periods of heightened excitement.
• Denial that there is problem, feel no-one understands.
• Anger when eating issues are brought up.
• Avoiding meals with others.

Having an Eating Disorder can be very serious!

Anorexia Nervosa

I think it’s important to know that as we are all individual not everyone has the same symptoms, some people will have a mixture, some will have more symptoms and some less.

The term ‘Anorexia Nervosa’ actually means ‘loss of appetite for nervous reasons’ however this can be confusing because in real terms you have lost the ability to let yourself fulfil your appetite.

You are most likely restricting what you eat and drink, maybe you are going without food for long periods, vomiting after eating or taking laxatives. You may also be exercising to burn off what you think are extra calories. Food may be dominating your thoughts. Anorexia is a way of showing others that you are in control of your weight and shape. Although what is really happening is that Anorexia itself is in control!

When your body does not get the right balance of nutrients chemical changes occur, these changes affect the brain and thinking becomes distorted stopping you from making rational decisions about food. As the illness gets worse you will suffer from the exhaustion of starvation. If it is left untreated some people will die.

The effects of anorexia on your body
In adults, extreme weight loss; in children and teenagers, poor or inadequate weight gain in relation to their growth or substantial weight loss.

• Constipation and abdominal pains
• Dizzy spells and feeling faint
• Bloated stomach, puffy face and ankles
• Downy hair on the body
• Hair loss
• Poor blood circulation and feeling cold
• Dry, rough, or discoloured skin
• Loss of ‘periods’, loss of interest in sex
• Loss of bone mass and eventually osteoporosis (brittle bones), loss of finger and toe nails.

Psychological signs of anorexia

• Intense fear of gaining weight and obsessive interest in what others are eating
• Distorted perception of body shape or weight
• Denial of the existence of a problem
• Changes in personality and mood swings
• Becoming aware of an ‘inner voice’ that challenges your views on eating and exercise

Behavioural signs in anorexia

• Rigid or obsessional behaviour attached to eating, such as cutting food into tiny pieces
• Mood swings
• Restlessness and hyperactivity
• Wearing big baggy clothes
• Vomiting; taking laxatives

Bulimia Nervosa

Eating excessively large amounts of food in a short space of time, often in an out of control way.
Making yourself vomit or using laxatives after a binge. Mood changes. Fearful of weight gain.

Binge Eating

Eating very quickly during a binge. Eating until you feel uncomfortably full. Eating when you’re not hungry. Feeling guilty, ashamed or disgusted after a binge. Hiding how much you eat.