Eating disorders most commonly begin in adolescence, but can affect anyone—females, males, and people of different cultures—at any age.
The unhealthy eating habits that characterize eating disorders are often coping mechanisms a person develops to try and deal with other problems.These disorders can have serious physical complications including digestive problems, weakening of bones, and heart and kidney damage. In treating eating disorders, both the physical and psychological symptoms need to be addressed. With early treatment and support, many individuals recover and live healthy lives.Signs that may indicate an eating disorder:
- Intense fear of weight gain
- Have feelings of ineffectiveness and low self-esteem
- Guilt or shame about eating
- Strict avoidance of “fattening” foods
- Feeling fat when not “overweight”
- Unusual eating patterns
- Irregular or stopped periods
- Noticeable weight loss
- Frequent weight fluctuation
- Denial of the dangers of low weight
You can learn more about eating disorders and find support for recovery from the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.