The early signs of anorexia can be difficult to spot due, in part, to the fact that the sufferer will conceal the symptoms, attributing them to other health conditions or side effects of prescription medication.
Some of the physical signs of an eating disorder include:
Other signs need an eating disorder professional to uncover, during an examination:
Without proper treatment, anorexia can reduce the sufferer to a point where they are skeletally thin, but still perceive themselves to be overweight.
The earliest detectable signs of anorexia relate to a preoccupation with food. The sufferer will refuse to eat, denying hunger and skipping meals. They will have difficulty concentrating and will be obsessed with the shape and size of their body. They will weigh food and will adopt rituals such as cutting food into tiny pieces and will make excuses for not eating.
Several other behaviors are also an indication of anorexia:
Knowledge as to the causes of anorexia is still incomplete. It is known that anorexia involves a complicated interaction between biological, psychological and social factors.
It has recently been acknowledged that genetics can also play a role in the development of anorexia. An individual is at a higher risk of developing an eating disorder if a parent or sibling has a similar condition. It is, however, unclear exactly how genetics interact with other contributory factors.
Other individuals susceptible to developing a food obsession are those with low self-esteem, those with obsessive or compulsive personalities, those with a perfectionist attitude towards their own body and those with low levels of serotonin (a chemical in the brain associated with depression)
Television, magazines and billboards constantly display an image of the perfect body as being unrealistically thin. Such cultural beliefs can also contribute to the development of anorexia. Success and worth are also equated with being thin, to the point where individuals perceive anorexic symptoms as being normal.
Anorexia nervosa is a very serious eating disorder, particularly if it is accompanied by co-occurring psychiatric and addictive disorders such as alcoholism, depression or drug addiction. Like other eating disorders, anorexia is a medical disease that can result in irreversible health complications, including death. BUT IT CAN BE TREATED!
At Sovereign Health of California we will carry out an initial assessment in order to formulate a treatment program individually tailored to the specific needs of the individual. We have a highly qualified, experienced staff that will provide the treatment and support you require for a successful, long term recovery.