In the U.S., around 30 million adults suffer from eating disorders. This disorder is more pronounced in women than in men. The eating abnormalities range from bulimia and anorexia nervosa, to restrictive intake of food and binge eating. People with these conditions usually suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, and have perfectionist tendencies. It is often hard to determine whether you have an eating problem until it is too late. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you need treatment for your eating habits.
Odd Eating Habits
If you find yourself hiding food, eating alone, cutting food into small pieces, or eating slowly, you definitely have a problem. It is even worse if you are fixating on food recipes, cook for others but fail to eat, eat to the point of utter discomfort, or feel depressed, disgusted or guilty after eating.
Drastic Body Change and Signs of Sickness
If you suddenly lose or gain weight, this means you are having an eating disorder. Some of the other physical signs that accompany poor eating habits include:
• Hair loss and brittle nails
• Irregular menstruation
• Chronic fatigue
• Susceptibility to broken bones and bruising
• Frequent hemorrhoids and constipation
• Low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and fainting spells
All of these signs are common among patients at places like the Reasons Eating Disorder Center, and arise due to insufficient consumption of calories or malnutrition.
If you refrain from eating anything until you know the exact calories it has, and your caloric intake is below the normal level, you have an eating problem. The other variation is consuming excess calories and compensating this with exercises, or skipping meals.
Overindulging in Exercises
If you are exercising until you are totally exhausted, or you plan workouts to go for hours on end, you probably have an eating disorder. The problem becomes worse when you are always looking for opportunities to exercise.
Obsession with Body Image
Many people suffering from poor body image are never satisfied no matter how many calories they lose, they tend to always have a negative perception about their body size and shape. Poor body image comes before problematic eating, and gets worse as the disorder develops.
While many people tend to treat eating disorders lightly, they are in fact as serious as other illnesses. Odd eating habits, drastic body changes, calorie intake, overindulging in exercises, and obsession with body image, are some of the signs to look out for if you are not sure you have an eating problem.