Tell Tale Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

anorexia-nervosaThis year the National Eating Disorder Awareness organization has invited everyone interested to do Just one Thing in order to raise awareness about the illness. Continuing our commitment and contribution towards this noble cause, today’s blog release is building on yesterday’s blog on the topic of GPs missing the diagnosis of eating disorders in the UK, in the hope that this will serve to highlight some of the attitudes, behaviors, and pressures that shape the disorder.

Understanding and admitting that you have a problem with Anorexia is the first vital step towards seeking help and obtaining the appropriate treatment. This is, in itself, an important milestone, and we appreciate how difficult it can be. For many, feelings of denial and fear often hinder early intervention, and in some cases lack of understanding of the symptoms that accompany anorexia, can result in the condition going undiagnosed unnecessarily.

Tell tale signs of Anorexia Nervosa:

When considering your own or a loved ones current eating habits, self esteem and lifestyle choices, do any of these issues apply?

Eating patterns:

    • Preoccupation with the fat and calorie content of all meals.


    • Constantly counting calories and adhere to strict colorific intake limits checking all food labels.


    • Avoidance of certain food groups; carbohydrates, fats, and sugar, while distinguishing between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods.


    • Regularly avoiding eating and concealing this from those around you, - e.g. making excuses that you are full, have already eaten or don’t feel very well.


    • Doing less of the things that was previously regarded as important and sources of pleasure.


    • Increased isolation.

Body Image

Are you or a loved one;

    • Feeling terrified of putting on weight and feeling that there is no such thing as being slim enough?


    • Considering parts of your body ‘too fat’; e.g. your stomach, thighs, hips, or arms?


    • Spending a lot of time worrying about what other people might think of your physical appearance?


    • Noticing that negative thoughts about your body keep repeating in your head?


    • Exercising, often excessively, to ensure you burn off the day’s calories?


    • Experiencing, or have experienced, a dramatic weight lossin a short time period, without any medical reason for this?

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious illness that can result in graveconsequences if left untreated, as highlighted by our previous blogs. Anorexia can frequently go undiagnosed partly due to the rather simplistic and, in some cases, extreme media portrayal of the illness placing emphasis on merely the external symptoms of the disorder. Becoming aware of the cognitive and behavioral aspects of Anorexia that potentially precede the physical manifestation can play a crucial role in early detection. The above are some of the common tell tale signs of Anorexia. If you feel that some or all of them reflect your attitude towards food and your body image, now might be time you seek appropriate treatment and work towards improving the quality of your life.

With National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in full swing, we at Life Works welcome this opportunity to shed some much needed light on the topic. NEDA week is a collective effort of primarily volunteers along with health professionals and individuals committed to raising awareness of this life threatening illness, while promoting access to the treatment and early intervention.

To learn more about the most prevalent types of eating disorders, read tomorrow’s blog on tell tale signs of Bulimia Nervosa.

Tell Tale Signs of Bulimia Nervosa
The Diagnosis of Eating Disorders