An eating disorder is a dangerous mental illness that affects children everywhere. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your children, please consult a physician immediately.
Changes in eating habits
With any eating disorder, children’s eating habits are bound to be effected. For some children, this will lead to eating tiny portions, avoiding meals or refusing food altogether. Eating disorders can also affect behaviours around eating. Children might eat in secret, hoard food or disappear after mealtimes. This may be a sign of binging or purging and should be taken very seriously by parents.
Sickness or Irregular changes in the body
Any eating disorder quickly takes a toll on the body. Children living with an eating disorder often have rapid changes in weight which they may try to hide. They may also feel cold all the time, have dizzy spells and find it difficult to sleep. Other signs include muscle weakness, stomach cramps, dry skin, puffy face, yellow skin, thinning hair or an increase in fine body hair and callouses or cuts on the tops of finger joints which are caused by sticking a finger down the throat to cause vomiting.
Social withdrawal and depression
Eating disorders are secretive diseases that thrive on guilt, depression and seclusion. Children with these disorders commonly have an intense fear of becoming fat. Some early signs that a child may have an eating disorder are depression, irritability and withdrawing from their group of friends. Children with this condition are often so consumed with their eating disorder that it consumes their lives. This can be both mentally and physically taxing.
People who purge by vomiting often have dental problems. These can include cavities or tooth discoloration. These people often brush their teeth more often in an effort to prevent tooth decay.
Many types of eating disorders incorporate over-exercise. This is not a normal workout. Many people with an eating disorder user exercise as a punishment for eating too many calories. They will workout despite bad weather, injuries or fatigue. This can be very damaging for their bodies and can leave them with permanent injuries.