How Do I Know If My Daughter Has an Eating Disorder
There are many reasons why children, teenagers, and adults develop eating disorders. However, a look at the available data reveals that there are considerably more girls and women suffering from eating disorders. Various statistics paint a bleak picture when it comes to girls and women, weight control and eating disorders: for example, about 9 in 10 women have tried to control their weight through dieting which though not in itself alarming, shows how much stock people place on being slim and lean. About 4 teenage girls in every 10 suffers from or has suffered from an eating disorder at one time or another.
It is therefore important for a parent of a teenage girl to know the signs to look out for in order to determine if their daughter is suffering from an eating disorder. There are quite a number of eating disorders such as binge eating, anorexia, bulimia, and others. Knowing about them and being able to determine if your daughter is suffering from them helps a parent to know exactly which eating disorder their daughter could be suffering from and how best to deal with it.
However, most teenagers with eating disorders take great measures to ensure that those around them do not notice it, especially if they are suffering from bulimia or anorexia. Thus, it is important for a parent to be observant and know the signs that may point to an eating disorder.
Some of the symptoms include an obsession with not gaining weight or losing it, an unhealthy obsession with eating right and dieting, avoiding functions and places where food is presented, performing certain rituals while preparing food and eating, and visiting the toilet immediately after eating.
Other signs that may not necessarily mean that someone is suffering from an eating disorder, but should nonetheless act as red flags, include exercising obsessively, sudden mood changes, lethargy and fatigue, and constantly weighing oneself.
Physical signs of an eating disorder may also manifest themselves as time passes. They will usually differ according to the eating disorder a teenager is suffering from. Tooth decay and discoloration, dried and parched lips, flaky and dry skin, broken and cracked nails, and a sudden change in body weight, whether it is weight loss (bulimia or anorexia), or weight gain (binge eating) are just some of the complications and signs that may arise as a result of eating disorders.