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I have a friend that only eats enough to get by. She will only eat about once a week. Would that be considered a eating disorder?


Hi Mindy: I would definitely

Hi Mindy:

I would definitely say that your friend is showing symptoms of an eating disorder. It is not possible to provide enough nourishment for one's body, by only eating once per week.

Our bodies require regular fuel in the form of food in order to sustain regular metabolism and maintain health. Without adequate nourishment, your friend's body will be unable to function properly; she may experience a number of damaging physical effects such as weakness and exhaustion, electrolyte imbalances, low blood pressure, anemia, or changes in brain chemistry (just to name a few). Your friend may also be coping with mood swings and depression which can be exacerbated by a lack of food.

An eating disorder is a serious illness which requires professional intervention. Your friend's doctor can provide a diagnosis, and referrals for treatment and care.

Many individuals with anorexia resist getting help for their eating disorder. You can help by offering support and encouragement, and letting your friend know that you care. Don't forget to take care of yourself as well.