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Is it an eating disorder?

The warning signs of eating disorders are sometimes hard to detect, especially since behaviors are often intentionally kept hidden. Watch for dramatic calorie reduction, purging behaviors, uncontrollable overeating, and/or unrelenting distress about body weight and shape. The Emily Program treats all types of eating disorders in people of all ages and genders.

Know the signs and symptoms of eating disorders

An eating disorder, such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, is a mental illness that affects an individual’s eating habits and can cause severe distress about body weight and shape. A person’s disturbed eating patterns may include inadequate nutrition or periods of excessive food intake. Eating disorders are serious, potentially deadly conditions that can affect any age, gender, or race. If you or someone you love is struggling with food, schedule an eating disorder assessment with The Emily Program today or call us at 1-888-364-5977 for real help. And real hope.

Eating disorder signs and symptoms

Eating disorders affect a person physically, behaviorally, emotionally, and psychologically. Prominent indications include:

  • Dramatic weight gain or loss

  • Frequently talking about food, weight, and shape

  • Rapid or persistent decline or increase in food intake

  • Excessive or compulsive exercise patterns

  • Purging, restricting, binge eating, or compulsive eating

  • Abuse of diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, or emetics

  • Denial of food and eating problems, despite the concerns of others

  • Eating in secret, hiding food, disrupting meals, or feeling out of control with food

  • Medical complications, such as menstrual irregularity, dizziness, fainting, bruising, dry skin, leg cramps, hair loss, brittle hair, osteoporosis, diarrhea, constipation, dental problems, diabetes, chest pain, heart disease, heartburn, shortness of breath, organ failure, and other serious symptoms

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Boys and men struggle with food, too

Research shows that 10–25% of the individuals experiencing an eating disorder are male. However, men tend to express their concerns in distinct ways. For example, men may say they want to lose weight to decrease body fat, while women may talk about losing weight to be thin. Men may want to increase muscle mass; women may become smaller. Restricted nutritional intake and over-exercising are common symptoms among males struggling with eating disorders.

Get help. Find hope.