Eating disorders, despite what some people may believe, are serious and very real diseases that affect millions of people of all walks of life. Most of us may be inclined to believe that eating disorders are diseases that only women and girls have to deal with, and although they do make up the majority of victims, there are men and boys who also suffer from these disorders.
People who suffer from these diseases often go to great lengths to conceal their struggles from others, but here are some of the signs that someone could be suffering from an eating disorder.
#1 FEELING COLD
Since the food we eat is the vital fuel we all need to keep our bodies operating as they should, people who are malnourished as a result of an eating disorder will often have difficulty staying warm. They may be wanting to turn on the heat when it does not seem like it is required, or may be wearing sweaters, coats and jackets indoors even when the temperature is comfortable for everyone else.
#2 ALWAYS TIRED
Again, without adequate food intake to fuel our bodily functions, energy levels can drop far below normal, causing someone to constantly feel tired and never seem to be able to get enough rest to feel “normal.” Even though they may be too tired to engage in many of their normal activites, eating disorders have an incredible influence over sufferers who may force themselves to engage in activities like exercise in order to satisfy their desire to involve themselves in some type of activity that they believe will help them lose weight.
#3 BAGGY CLOTHES
Eating disorders can cause people to behave in contradictory ways in the eyes of others. While someone suffering from an eating disorder may be obsessed with losing weight, and in their mind, it may be “normal,” they often show signs that they know what they are doing is harmful by trying to keep their condition secret. This will often involve dressing in loose or baggy clothing, which they hope will help conceal the telltale signs of extreme weight loss.
#4 CRITICIZING OTHERS
Eating disorders may cause people to find fault with the way people around them choose to eat. They may make comments about how unhealthy or harmful certain foods are that people around them are eating. They may seem genuinely repulsed or disgusted when they see others eating things that they feel are excessively fattening.
#5 CALORIE COUNTING
It’s not terribly surprising to learn that people who become obsessive about weight loss may spend a lot of time worrying about how many calories are in the foods they eat. They may start keeping careful records of everything they eat in notebooks or electronic devices which they are always checking or recording new information in. They may become obsessive about knowing what the fat content of food is before they will even consider eating it.
#6 HAIR LOSS
Lack of adequate nutrition may also result in hair loss, which may be evident by unusual amounts of hair being found in beds or around areas where someone with an eating disorder spends a lot of time. Sometimes it becomes noticeable just by looking at someone, and they may start using hats or other items of clothing in an effort to conceal their hair loss from others.
#7 MISSING FOOD
People suffering with bulimia will often binge on almost any type of food and can eat tremendous quantities in a relatively short span of time. This is often done in secret when others are not around to see them and will become evident by very noticeable quantities of food that have gone missing.
Virtually everything that goes on inside the body is completely dependent on maintaining proper nutrition, including the condition of the teeth. Lack of proper vitamin and mineral intake can cause problems like tooth pain which even dentists will not be able to detect through normal examination.
#9 UNUSUAL MEALTIMES
It’s not uncommon for individuals with eating disorders to try to arrange their mealtimes so that they do not eat at the same time other people in the household normally do. They want to conceal their eating habits, so they might want to eat at times which may seem unusual to others in the household. They will often go to great lengths to hide their activity from others and even try to restrict their eating to times when others are not at home or are busy with other activities.
#10 COMPLAINING ABOUT WEIGHT
No matter how a person suffering from an eating disorder appears to others, they may complain endlessly that they are “too fat.” The image they have of their own body is extremely distorted and so different from reality that they may continue to insist they are overweight even when their condition causes them to appear as if they have not eaten in weeks. No matter how they appear to the rest of the world, to themselves they are always too heavy.
Another way that individuals with eating disorders may use to lose weight is to exercise excessively. This can become a true obsession for them and will often involve working out for hours on end as often as every day of the week. Even if they have too little energy to do almost anything else, their obsessive desire to lose weight can push them well beyond an exercise regimen that would be considered normal