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5 Signs of An Eating Disorder

by | Feb 24, 2015 | General Info

Would you be able to spot an eating disorder in a family member or in a friend? Most people think they would hear vomiting in a bathroom or some other big sign / symptom. This isn’t always the case. Eating disorders have a stigma around them. It’s not something we openly discuss in our culture, but we should.  That’s why we’re listing the top 5 signs of an eating disorder. Most of them are subtle. Please review and contact us if you, a family member, or a friend may be in need of help. Or, if you like, you can also call NEDA at 1-800-931-2237.

Fine hair all over the body. Underweight women often sprout a layer of fine hair — lanugo — to keep their bodies warm.

  1. Yellow teeth. If you suspect someone is making themselves vomit, check for yellow or cracked teeth: Stomach acid erodes the enamel.
  2. Cracked skin or skin that all of a sudden looks like a rash or has many blemishes. Niacin deficiency causes pellagra, an eczema-like skin condition; lack of zinc leads to dry, cracked skin.
  3. Gray looking complexion. A gray complexion can result from underconsumption of many different nutrients, a tell-tale sign of an eating disorder.
  4. A picture is worth a thousand words. Take a picture of the person you suspect has an eating disorder. Compare it to a picture taken six months to a year ago. Has there been a dramatic difference in weight loss or gain with no explainable medical condition? If so, you may want to ask the person what is going on.

If anyone you know has two or more of these symptoms, don’t be afraid to call NEDA or do more research as to how to intervene. You can also call our office and Dr. Odom may present some local resources that can help.