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Is it an eating disorder?

The warning signs of eating disorders are sometimes hard to detect, especially if the individual denies or purposely hides their struggle with food. 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 or bulimia, is classified as 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, even deadly conditions that can affect any age group, 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, 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 between 10 and 25 percent of the individuals suffering from an eating disorder are male. However, men tend to talk about their bodies differently than women. 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 want to be lean and muscled; women want smaller waistlines. Men want to increase muscle mass; women want to diet. Restricted nutritional intake and over-exercising are common symptoms among males struggling with eating disorders.

Get help. Find hope.