Eating Disorders | Symptoms

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What are the warning signs of anorexia?

  • Deliberate self-starvation with weight loss
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Refusal to eat or skipping meals
  • Denial of hunger
  • Wearing baggy clothes
  • Constant exercising
  • Greater amounts of hair on the body or the face
  • Sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • Absent or irregular periods in girls or women
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • A self-perception of being fat when the person is really too thin

What are the warning signs of an eating disorder?

The following are possible warning signs of anorexia and bulimia:

  • Unnatural concern about body weight (even if the person is not overweight)
  • Obsession with calories, fat grams and food
  • Use of any medicines to keep from gaining weight (diet pills, laxatives, water pills)

More serious warning signs may be harder to notice because people who have an eating disorder try to keep it secret. Watch for these signs:

  • Throwing up after meals
  • Fainting
  • Increased anxiety about weight
  • Calluses or scars on the knuckle (from forced throwing up)
  • Denying that there is anything wrong

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 01/98

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