Warning sings for Anorexia Nervosa
Extracts from the Brochure "Was Sie über Essstörungen wissen sollten" / "Things you should know about Eating Disorders" by Günther Rathner; 1st edition 1989
Dramatic weight loss of 15% or more without known physical causes potentially responsible for weight loss:
- Restriction of food, especially of carbohydrates and fats.
- Denial of hunger.
- Denial of the problems.
- Intense fear of gaining weight and an obsessive wish of becoming thin.
- Absence of or irregular menstruation (women), low level of Testosterone (men).
- Continuous, nearly obsessive physical exercises despite fatigue and weakness.
- Unusual food rituals.
- Cooking for others but not eating with them.
- Disturbed self-perception concerning weight, body size and/or body shape.
- Inability to control and to stop weight loss and excessive exercises.
- Social isolation.
- Uncommon sensitivity to cold.
- Perfectionism, accompanied by an intense feeling of worthlessness.
- Self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives and/or diuretics & diet pills…
- Lanugo hair (fine, soft prenatal white hair on certain parts of the body).
Warning signs for Bulimia Nervosa
- In general patients show average body weight.
- It is often not noticed that lots of bulimic persons try to maintain an "artificial low weight" ("sub-optimal weight"). The actual weight influenced by the social "thinness obsession" lays perhaps only a few kilograms under the constitutionally conditioned weight but it can only be maintained by a bulimic behaviour.
- Dissatisfying feelings concerning body shape and obsession with getting thinner (similar to Anorexia Nervosa).
- Fear of gaining weight.
- Uncontrollable, secretly hidden episodes of bulimic binges followed by attempts to get rid of all by excessive physical activity, self-induced vomiting, diets or abuse of laxatives, diuretics or slimming pills.
- Depression and permanent mood swings.
- Intensified physical activity for weight-control.
- Inability to stop the binge-purge-cycle.
- Pain in the throat, stomach and bowels.
- Skin oedemas (water accumulations), severe pain and swelling in the glands (from the neck to the lower jaw; similar to mumps).
- Toothache and tooth destruction.
- Emotional instability and impulsivity.
- Irregular or absent menstruation (Amenorhoea).
- Frequent weight fluctuations.