Eating Disorders and Their Warning Signs

Eating disorders can affect a wide scope of people. Typically in years past the disease was thought to be relegated to women. While it is still true that the majority of sufferers of anorexia are women, the disease is not a stranger to men of all ages. Getting help for someone who may have anorexia, or the beginning signs of anorexia can make the difference in their survival.

Anorexia and bulimia are two of the most common eating disorders. Each have their own unique side effects associated with each. With anorexia the side effects can be dire should the disease be left unchecked. In adolescents, the disease can be especially disruptive. In young women anorexia can delay the onset of puberty. This will delay the onset of menstruation as well as breast development. In  young men anorexia can retard muscle gain, and growth spurts. For adults facing the ravages of anorexia the side effects can be more significant. Osteoporosis, hair loss and tooth loss are just a few of the side effects. In advanced stages of the disease skin breakdown and organ failure is a significant problem. These can ultimately lead to death.

The warning signs of anorexia nervosa can be subtle at first, but knowing what to look for can mean the difference in the survival rate of a sufferer. Starting signs of anorexia are that the sufferer will often wear big, over sized, bulky clothing to shield their appearance and weight loss. Excessive exercise can be an early warning sign as well. Obsessive calorie counting and fat analysis in foods can also be of concern. Lastly, and most obvious, excessive and sudden weight loss should be of immediate concern.

Anorexia is a disease that if left unchecked can result in death. Taking the threat seriously can mean the difference in the survival rate of the person afflicted with the disease. Getting counseling, support groups, and mental health counseling for someone affected by the disease can be the single most important thing you do for them.

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