Eating Disorders Diagnosis
Eating Disorder Diagnosis: Challanges
Because of the secretive habits of many individuals with eating disorders, their conditions often go undiagnosed for a long time. In the case of anorexia nervosa, signs such as extreme weight loss are more visible. Bulimics who maintain normal body weight, on the other hand, may be able to hide their condition to the casual observer. Family members and friends might notice some of the following warning signs of an eating disorder.
A person with anorexia may do the following things:
- Eat only "safe" foods, usually those low in calories and fat
- Have odd rituals, such as cutting food into small pieces
- Spend more time playing with food than eating it
- Cook meals for others without eating
- Engage in compulsive exercising
- Dress in layers to hide weight loss
- Spend less time with family and friends, becoming more isolated, withdrawn, and secretive.
A person with bulimia may do the following things:
- Become very secretive about food, spending a lot of time thinking about and planning the next binge
- Take repeated trips to the bathroom, particularly after eating
- Steal food or hoard it in strange places
- Engage in compulsive exercising.
If someone you know is displaying any of these characteristics, this person should be taken to a physician, nutritionist, or other professional with expertise in diagnosing eating disorders.
Diagnosing Eating Disorders or Another Medical Condition
Before making an eating disorder diagnosis, the healthcare provider will also consider other medical conditions that can share similar symptoms with eating disorders. Some of these conditions include: