Have you recently noticed your teenager exuding erratic behavior? Has their change in personality worried you? Do you get the impression that your child has been hiding an eating disorder from you?
If so, don’t panic!
Eating disorders consist of complex mental and physical issues. Early intervention can make a world of difference in recovery.
In this article, we will discuss the warning signs of an eating disorder. Along with some red flags, you should look out for.
So keep reading to learn what to watch out for with teenage eating disorders.
1. Drastic Changes in Eating Habits
Eating habits are considered to be drastic if there is a marked change in either the amount or type of food consumed. For example, a sudden decrease in food intake or the avoidance of certain food groups can be a sign that there is an issue. Teens may also experience sudden weight gain or loss, a strong preoccupation with food, and strange food rituals such as cutting food into small pieces and picking through food.
2. Taking Laxatives
It is particularly a symptom of bulimia, an emotional disorder in which the sufferer has episodes of binging and purging. During a binge, the person will often take laxatives to help the food move out of their system.
Teens with an eating disorder may also use laxatives in an attempt to control their weight or figure. This is because they believe that taking laxatives will help them lose weight or keep it off. Unfortunately, the use of laxatives can have dangerous consequences, as it can disrupt the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients.
3. Excessive Concern With Weight or Body Image
Teens may start worrying about their weight or body shape, become concerned with calories or portions, and may begin exercising. They may become resistant to challenges around food and refuse to eat meals with family.
They may also become concerned with attempting to meet a certain weight and body shape. This excessive concern with body image, often combined with restricted eating, can lead to serious medical and psychological effects such as nutrient deficiencies, infertility, weakened immune systems, anxiety, and depression.
4. Too Much Exercise
They may become preoccupied with physical activity, exercising more than necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They may start to over-exercise to reach their ideal body weight, even if it’s detrimental to their mental or physical health. Most teens who suffer from an eating disorder view exercise as a way to burn calories or control their food intake.
5. Extreme Mood Changes
One of the warning signs of an eating disorder in teens is extreme mood changes. Teens with an eating disorder may experience an array of emotions, from anxiety to depression or even rage. Eating disorders can impair a teen’s ability to function in everyday life.
They may exhibit out-of-control behavior and extreme changes in weight. It is important for teens who are exhibiting any of these symptoms to seek help and accept the fact that they need a disordered eating program. Such an approach helps teens gain control over their eating disorders and regain their physical and emotional health.
Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder in Teens to Watch Out
Eating disorders can have severe consequences if left untreated. If your teen is displaying warning signs of an eating disorder, it is important to act quickly.
Speak to a doctor and get your teen’s help. Early intervention is vital for recovery and improved mental health.
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