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How To Recognize The Early Signs And Symptoms Of The Eating Disorders, Anorexia And Bulimia

Updated on January 12, 2012

A difficult, complex and potentially deadly problem.

Eating disorders, though primarily found in adolescents and young adults, are now known to exist, in both sexes, from early childhood to old age. Society has become focused on the body and its appearance, as a gauge of self-worth and success.

Those, of any age, who lack self esteem, have feelings of inadequacy, and poor relationships with family and peers, are most prone to develop problems with body image. These people also may feel driven to perfection, have excessive anxiety, and feel their lives are out of their control. The media tells us thinness is a virtue. Perhaps this they can achieve.

The self-control and discipline exhibited by celebrities, dancers, gymnasts and others who present a sylph-like appearance, are looked on as worthy of admiration and respect. Unfortunately, physical appearance has become more important than what kind of person you are or what you have achieved in life.

Though efforts are being made in some areas to change the cultural focus on body, this is a slow process. Those with eating disorders need immediate help. Recognizing the symptoms is vital. Without help, those with eating disorders will develop problems with skin, teeth, digestion, osteoporosis, and infertility. Eventually all the body organs will begin to shut down.

Statistics are alarming. Approximately ten percent of those with eating disorders die after having the problem for ten years. Approximately twenty percent of those with eating disorders die after having the problem for twenty years. Some die sooner. Many attempt or commit suicide.  Treatments are expensive and few sufferers seek or get adequate treatment.

It is vital that eating disorders be recognized and dealt with before life-threatening conditions develop. Recognize the symptoms in your family and friends. See that they get help immediately. Show your support. If you feel that you have an eating disorder, now is the time to address the problem.


....the use of diuretics and laxatives

....early tooth decay and tooth loss

....excessive eating and planning for the next eating binge.

....going right to the bathroom after excessive eating

....stock-piling and hiding food

....sudden large weight losses

....talking about feeling fat when they are not


....pulling back form the company of friends and family

....obsession with only eating low-calorie, low-fat foods for others, but then not eating

....talking about feeling fat, when they are thin

....losing weight rapidly

....dressing in overly large clothing that hides the body shape

....excessive exercising

....measuring out every bite of food they eat


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      veronica edwards 4 years ago

      this was very imformative I have a preteen and this information will help me in the future if I need it.

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      doodlebugs 8 years ago

      Good information on what is sometimes a silent killer. Thanks for sharing it with the Hubpages community.