There has been notable and steady growth in the appearance of eating disorders in recent years. Studies reveal that this growing problem is likely due to the selfie culture. This desire to always look our “best” has led to many taking drastic measures to lose weight and view themselves as a thing. Along the way, there’s a risk that their vision of themselves may become distorted. This can lead to the development of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. In these individuals, no weight loss will ever result in their feeling they are ‘thin enough.’ These disorders are becoming so common that over 5% of children ages 13-18 will develop an eating disorder. Binge eating, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa are the most common manifestations.
Catching Eating Disorders Early Can Avoid Disaster
Catching these conditions before they take a severe foothold can help patients avoid a life-long struggle with them. They can be challenging to identify in teens and young adults, however. These demographics tend to exhibit different symptoms and behaviors than older patients with these concerns. It can be made even more complex due to significant misinformation about these health concerns. Medical professionals sometimes have trouble sifting the latest good information from the bad. However, a few key symptoms may indicate that your child is struggling with an eating disorder.
- Fluctuating weight changes
- Obsession with body shape, food, calories, and dieting
- Isolation during social activities
- Trouble keeping warm even in warm weather
- Loose teeth, hair loss, and skin problems
- Common complaints about constipation, upset stomach, diarrhea, and sore throat
While these signs are some of those commonly seen in teenagers and younger patients, everyone is different. This means some individuals struggling with these conditions may exhibit other symptoms or behaviors. As a result, it’s essential to note any significant changes in behavior and medical condition. Psychological behaviors are another well-documented change that can appear with eating disorders.
Any indicators that your child may suffer from an eating disorder should be taken seriously. These aren’t just passing obsessions. Eating disorders are mental health conditions that aren’t a passing phase and won’t just go away over time. Those who don’t receive treatment tend to intensify their behavior and focus over time. Eating disorder programs are developed to work with teens and young adults struggling with these conditions.
Speak To Your Pediatrician For Eating Disorder Concerns
The most crucial part of getting these conditions under control is getting help as soon as possible. This requires that those closest to your child can identify something is wrong and act on it. If you have any concerns that they may be struggling with an eating disorder, reach out to your pediatrician for help. They can assess the symptoms you describe and perform a medical examination focused on determining if signs of these disorders are present. They can also help you arrange for proper treatment if your loved one is caught in their clutches. Recovery from eating disorders is challenging but achievable with the proper assistance and support.