One of the most common misconceptions about anorexia nervosa is that sufferers are underweight, which is not always the case. In many instances, a patient with anorexia may appear to be healthy, but in truth is malnourished. That’s why it’s important to understand all the warning signs and symptoms of anorexia.
Medical symptoms of anorexia
- Weight at or below 85 percent of Ideal Body Weight (IBW) for age
- Significant/dramatic decrease in normal growth chart curve for weight
- Excessive or compulsive exercise
- Bradycardia (abnormally low heart rate) and/or orthostasis (a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down)
- Absence of or delayed onset of or sporadic/light menses
- Fatigue, cold-intolerance, dizziness and/or hair thinning/loss
Common behavioral warning signs of anorexia
- Extreme weight loss
- Calorie restriction
- Obsession with food, weight, calories and/or dieting
- Sudden interest in “healthy” or clean eating, vegetarianism, veganism, elimination diets, etc.
- Intense fear of being fat or weight gain
- Refusal to eat certain foods or entire groups of foods (i.e. carbohydrates or desserts)
- Strange eating habits or food rituals
- Denial of hunger or weight loss
- Compulsive exercising
- Withdrawal from friends, family and “normal” activities/routines
Seek help if you see any of these symptoms
If you suspect that someone you know has an eating disorder, it’s imperative that he or she has a medical and psychological evaluation as quickly as possible. If left untreated, there can be far-reaching health consequences, including the potential of dying.
Please call us at 877-825-8584 to schedule a free confidential consultation with an Eating Recovery Center Masters-level clinician so we can help you understand how to get your loved one the proper treatment he or she needs.