The fact that you are reading this web site probably means that you are concerned about the eating habits of either yourself or someone you care about.

Statistics on the number of people in the UK who suffer with Eating Disorders are vague, however the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), suggest that 1.6million people in the UK are affected by Eating Disorders. It is estimated that 10% of sufferers are ‘anorexic’, 40% ‘bulimic’ and the remainder fall into ‘eating disorders not otherwise specified’ (EDNOS) which includes binge eating.

Whilst labels such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating are not always helpful physical and behavioural indications of these disorders can be as described below.

Anorexia

Physical symptoms

  • Severe weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping and tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pains
  • Constipation
  • Feeling cold
  • Growth of soft downy fine hair all over the body.
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Hair falls out
  • Setting high standards and perfection
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Secretive behaviour
  • Change in personality

Behavioural symptoms

  • Becomes secretive
  • Change in personality
  • Ritual and obsessive behaviour
  • Lying about eating
  • Trying to please everyone
  • Cooking food for others
  • Wearing baggy clothes

Sufferers of anorexia sometimes talk about having a ‘voice’ in their head, telling them that they don’t deserve to eat or that they are fat and useless. A suffer may feel that they are in control of their eating, however it can become more and more difficult to ignore the voice in their head

Bulimia

Physical symptoms

  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath and mouth ulcers
  • Stomach pains
  • Irregular period
  • Dry or poor skin
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Constipation
  • Puffy cheeks
  • Dehydration
  • Fainting
  • Kidney and bowel problems

Bahavioural symptoms

  • Eating large quantities of food
  • Being sick after binging or eating
  • Taking laxatives
  • Being secretive or lying

Someone suffering from Bulimia may feel emotional or depressed. They may also feel out of control, have mood swings and be obsessed with dieting.

Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS)

You may have eating habits that cause your problems in your life but do not fit neatly into a category. Whilst sometimes it is helpful to label someone’s eating habits, sometimes it is not. You many want to find help before a situation gets to a point where it is categorised an ‘official’ eating disorder.