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8 Signs You May Have an Eating Disorder

Signs You May Have an Eating Disorder Resurgence - A woman is depressed while looking at a scale because she is struggling with a possible eating disorder, where she connects coffee and eating disorders to prevent hunger cravings

What Are Eight Signs You May Have an Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder can begin for a variety of reasons and can continue on an undetected basis for long periods of time.

Eating is a public activity and, as a result, you may have developed secret ways to maintain your eating disorder.

In fact, many people often see connections between coffee and eating disorders.

Addressing an eating disorder early increases the chances of long-term success.

A healthy relationship with food is crucial for a long and healthy life.

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The Eight Signs You May Have an Eating Disorder

If you have any of these eight signs, you may want to reach out for help for a potential eating disorder. At Resurgence Behavioral Health Center, we can help you restore a healthy relationship with food.

Here are the eight signs that you may have an eating disorder:

  1. Exercising compulsively
  2. Rules and rituals around eating
  3. Stealing or hoarding food and hiding it to ensure access later
  4. Eating large volumes of food alone and then throwing it up later, or taking laxatives to induce elimination of those foods
  5. Preoccupation with calories, weight, dieting, and appearance
  6. Dressing in layers or wearing baggy clothes to hide weight loss, yet still feeling “fat”
  7. Becoming irritable when exercise or other appearance routines are interrupted
  8. Withdrawal from family and friends, especially around meals

Some other potential signs include cutting up food into tiny pieces; chewing each bit a certain number of times before swallowing; only eating certain foods or certain colors of foods in order to tell if you have binged enough; eating in a certain method; only eating certain foods; and, not touching your food altogether. Also, some people may associated coffee and eating disorders together because coffee hinders hunger often.

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Understanding Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses. They can begin as simple habits and progress without family and friends noticing. The causes are variable and depend on the individual. Some potential causes are anxiety, depression, family history, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, pressure from coaches, peer pressure, and sexual abuse.

The two most common eating disorders can include anorexia nervosa and bulimia. They both involve starving the body of food. These disorders occur in all genders, with females making up the majority of cases. Societal pressure can greatly affect how you view yourself.

Other factors that may be involved are a lack of self-confidence and a secondary mental health issue such as depression. Sometimes the eating disorder is tied to a strong desire to be in control of some aspect of your life. As a result of starvation, the body begins to change and adapt in order to survive.

Some physical changes that can occur are:

  • Feeling cold even when it is not cold
  • Developing fine downy hair on extremities is called lanugo.
  • Bones begin to protrude out of the skin
  • Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies lead to hair falling out and, nail bed changes
  • Sunken temples
  • Anemia and pale skin
  • Menstrual period irregularities or stopping altogether
  • Constipation or stomach pain

Continued physical starvation leads to other disorders in every organ system and can be fatal. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, help is available. You are not alone.

Effects of an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders can impact every area of a person’s life. Failed relationships, unemployment, significant health problems, and financial problems are all common consequences of eating disorders. Maintaining the rituals and rules of eating, purging, or eating in a specific way can be time-consuming and complicated.

You may slowly stop eating out at restaurants and at friends’ houses in order to keep up an eating disorder. Eating at work can become problematic. Sharing a meal with a romantic partner suddenly becomes too difficult. Maintaining an eating disorder can overtake a person’s life.

The health consequences of an eating disorder are well documented and can be fatal. Secrecy is a significant and unhealthy part of many types of unhealthy eating habits. With that tendency, an eating disorder may not be recognized until a medical issue arises. Throat, dental, and nasal passage harm may result from purging.

Most eating disorders involve some level of nutrient deficiency which manifests in skin, hair, and nails following weeks of deprivation. Nutrient deficiencies can affect the heart, lungs, bones, endocrine system, eyes, and gastrointestinal tract even with short-term abuse.

Medical oversight is recommended for safe and adequate calorie and nutrition repair. A big sign to pay attention to is coffee and eating disorders. Many people will drink a ton of coffee to prevent hunger cravings, which is a sign of a potential eating disorder.

Mental Illness and Eating Disorders

Treatment of eating disorders involves a significant amount of time in therapy. Uncovering the roots of unhealthy eating habits and retraining an appropriate relationship with food are required for successful long-term recovery. A link has been found between eating disorders and increased mortality. This may be related to the physical damage that can occur with long-term deprivation of certain foods and nutrients.

Eating disorders are more successfully treated the earlier they are discovered. If you or someone you know has an unhealthy association with food, consider reaching out for help. Waiting until things go from mild to severe may make long term recovery even more challenging. Eating disorders can commonly happen in combination with another mental illness.

Assessment for any simultaneous mental health issues can improve the effectiveness of treatment. Dissatisfaction with your body may be contributing to the eating disorder. Removing negative body image perceptions are important for health and recovery. At Resurgence, we will assess for contributing factors and help unravel the confusing cycle of eating disorders and body dysmorphia.

Treatment of Eating Disorders

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, we are here to help. If you are combining coffee and eating disorders as a way to hinder hunger, this is a big warning sign that you may need treatment sooner than you think. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we use an integrated approach to heal and recover. We have 20 years of experience breaking the cycle of shame and eating disorders.

We will work with you to determine your individual goals for treatment and customize treatment to your needs. Eating disorders require a cautious team approach including medical care, counseling, and therapy. We are here to walk through this process with you. Reworking our brains to have healthy relationships with food is complicated as we interact with food many times a day.

This is different from stopping substance abuse and learning to live without it. Treating an eating disorder involves actively engaging with the very thing that is causing issues several times every day. We have a team of professionals that can assist you in taking small steps toward recovery.

Treating an eating disorder is not a sprint, it is a new way of living every day. Even if the situation appears hopeless or there is resistance to change, eating disorder treatment can still be effective.

Payment Information

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it? We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification. We work with you to deliver treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

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How to Get Help

Are you tired? Tired of lies? Tired of the process of keeping an eating disorder going? Resurgence Behavioral Health is available to answer questions or discuss options with you. We have a team of professionals who are dedicated to understanding and healing your addiction.

We give hope back to those who are searching for recovery and stability.

Alexa Iocco

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