Have you seen a sudden change in your child that has you concerned?
Maybe they’ve lost weight or you’re observing unusual eating habits. If this is the case, you may be asking yourself “is my child anorexic?” and more importantly, “what does anorexia look like”?
Over 5% of adolescents between the ages of 13-18 will suffer from anorexia. So it’s important to know the signs.
Read on for more information about how to spot this eating disorder.
In order to help your child, you must first determine what the issue is. Not all eating disorders are the same and they shouldn’t be treated as such.
Anorexia has very specific symptoms as opposed which differ from other disorders like bulimia or Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, a newly classified type of disordered eating.
You should also keep in mind that anorexia isn’t always about food and weight. Many times it’s about control and the inability for teenagers to deal with trauma, stress or heightened emotions.
Various events can trigger anorexia other than the desire to be thin. Anorexia, in particular, is a disorder where someone will stop eating or seriously restrict the food they consume.
This causes them to lose extreme amounts of weight and they can even become afraid of food altogether.
Keep reading for some of the tell-tale signs that your child is suffering.
This may be the first thing you notice because their appearance becomes so altered, you can’t help but take note.
Watch for severe weight loss, lack of sleep, dizziness or fainting along with stomach problems. Stomach pains and constipation are very common with anorexia due to the lack of nutrients that keep the digestive system running smoothly.
People with anorexia will appear gaunt or sallow in their face, pale and can begin to grow hair in places they typically wouldn’t like their arms and face.
You may notice some behavioral changes in your child and those are important signs as well.
If your child has become secretive or discrete in general, this could be a sign they’re hiding something.
You may also notice lying around meal times; either saying they’ve already eaten or that they aren’t hungry altogether and skipping meals.
They may also begin dressing differently to try to hide their weight loss or avoid social situations where food consumption will take place.
Along with physical and behavioral signs your child has anorexia, there will likely be some psychological shifts taking place.
If you hear your child obsessing over their weight, calling themselves fat or commenting on calories or nutritional information, this could be a sign.
There will also likely be some mood swings or emotional inconsistency that seems unusual.
Now that you’ve answered the question of “what does anorexia look like”, you can determine if your child needs your help and is suffering.
Talk to them and seek medical treatment so the problem doesn’t get out of control, putting their health in serious jeopardy.
Be sure to check out our site for more health news.
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