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Telltale signs of Eating Disorder

Eating disorder is mainly classified as Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, whereas the third type of eating disorder, binge eating indicates a dangerous and possibly uncontrollable condition. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by lack of food taking, emaciation, thinness but strong unwillingness to maintain a healthy weight, brittle hair and nails, dry and yellowish skin, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, a distortion of body image. People with anorexia see themselves as overweight, even when they are starved or are clearly malnourished. Many people with anorexia also have coexisting psychiatric and physical illnesses, including depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, cardiovascular and neurological complications, and impaired physical development.

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent and frequent eating of large amounts of food, and feeling a lack of control over the eating. Like people with anorexia, they often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and often have coexisting psychological illnesses like depression, anxiety and/or abuse problems. Assosiated Physical illness includes electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal problems, severe dehydration, kidney problems, inflamed or sore throat, and oral and tooth-related problems.

Binge-eating disorder is characterized by recurrent binge-eating ( excessive eating) during which a person feels a loss of control over eating. People with binge-eating disorder often are overweight or obese, and often have coexisting psychological illnesses including anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. In addition, links between obesity and cardiovascular disease and hypertension are obvious.

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SIGNS TO WATCH FOR IN YOUR

SIGNS TO WATCH FOR IN YOUR CHILDREN:

* Is your child losing significant amounts of weight and eating less food?
* Is your child overly-concerned with his or her appearance and body size?
* Does your child suddenly reject certain “unhealthy” foods they normally love?
* Does your child appear to be sad, withdrawn from friends and family?
* Does your child consume a lot of food in short periods of time?
* Has your child gained a significant amount of weight?
* Does your child frequently go to the bathroom immediately after eating a meal (regular size or large meal), or take showers after eating? This may indicate that your child is attempting to purge the food that they just consumed.
* Does your child use laxatives?
* Does your child exercise frequently and obsessively?

If you answer yes to any one of these questions, you should consult with your pediatrician and consider finding a mental health professional in your area who can advise you on how to help your child.

A very important point is to keep the lines of communication open with your child. Talk with them openly and frequently about how they feel about their body. Encourage them to love themselves, and remember that beauty comes from within. Model healthy food behaviors and encourage a healthy relationship with food. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor.

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