Signs and Symptoms vomit by benbenzhou


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									Signs and Symptoms

Below are some signs and symptoms to look out for. A young person suffering
from an eating disorder may not exhibit all of these but any should be noted and
raise your suspicion.

Food and eating

Someone with an eating disorder may:

      become excessively busy on purpose to avoid food, hunger and meals;
      may throw large amounts of food away or never fully finish a meal;
      may hoard or secretly hide uneaten food in bags, pockets, or under beds;
      may enjoy watching others eat and encourage them to do so;
      may cook elaborate meals but not take a mouthful themselves;
      may taken a sudden interest in cooking and food preparation and hover
       around the kitchen while another family member prepares a meal, or show
       a great interest in ingredients or in how a dish is cooked: steaming or
       boiling giving them reassurance, roasted or fried prompting trepidation;
      may ‘read’ packets and count and note calories or talk of calories in foods.
      may study recipe books and food magazines laboriously, and watch
       cookery television programmes;
      may make excuses for not eating – ‘I ate earlier’ or ‘don’t worry I’ll have
       something later’;
      may adopt dangerous and altered food habits – pile their plate high with
       vegetables, almost to the exclusion of protein and carbohydrates, and have
       a fear of fatty and indulgent foods – no cheese, butter, salad dressings or
       mayonnaise, and certainly no chocolate, biscuits or cake;
      constantly chews gum or consume vast amounts of diet drinks,coffee or
       green tea to distract themselves from feeling hungry.


People with eating disorders have low self-esteem. They constantly doubt
themselves and at any opportunity put themselves down. They are highly self
critical and always dissatisfied with their achievements. This dissatisfaction runs
beyond body size and weight, shape and figure. They find it difficult to cope with
themselves both physically – despising their appearance, the way they dress and
look – and as a person. ‘I’m rubbish’, ‘I’m stupid’, ‘I’m such a bitch’, ‘I’m lazy’,
‘I’m such a freak’, ‘I’m useless at that,’ are common thoughts.

Relationships, mood and behaviour

An individual may seem distant and disinterested in others – food, meals,
exercise and weight are their only interests. They may be difficult to live with –
experiencing low mood, anxiety, or frequent, unpredictable fluctuations in
temperament. Alternatively they may be numb – emotionless – rarely showing
anger, joy, sadness, pleasure, anxiety or pain. They may be restless, continually
on the go, unable to sit still and insist on rising early.

An eating disorder takes precedence over everything and everyone. It is an
individual’s one and only priority, a full time occupation. People with eating
disorders forget hobbies, cut off their friends and social ties. They prefer

About the home

Important signs at home include:

     sinks and toilets blocked with vomit; smell of vomit.
     large quantities of food going missing from cupboards;
     empty food packets;
     disappearing after meals and making excuses – ‘I’m just going upstairs for
      something,’ ‘I’m just going to the toilet.’

Some people enjoy cleanliness and neatness, spending time dusting, hoovering,
or going to great lengths to ensure tidiness. They may become distressed or
agitated if someone else interferes.

Their personal hygiene may of great importance: they may incessantly wash
their hands or shower several times a day, particularly after meals.

Changes in interests

An individual will reorganise their life around weight control –After eating, they
will compensate or purge by fasting, exercising or taking laxatives. Often,
someone previously uncommitted to sport develops a strict, regular and fierce
exercise routine. Solitary exercise is preferred – running or gym sessions as
opposed to team sports. They may choose to walk everywhere, even
inconceivable distances, and in all weathers, sometimes at night. They will
experience extreme panic, fear and distress when the schedule is broken or if
their calorie count for the day is altered.


Above all, watch for overt, sometimes rapid weight loss in someone who has
anorexia. Often some of the signs will have been present for a considerable
period of time. Weight loss could be considered as the final sign, proof that
previous suspicions were correct.

Treatment and recovery

Recovery from an eating disorder will never be easy, never short, and never
painless. The strength and mental will power an individual needs to break free
from their illness is immense. An individual cannot recover without support and
guidance. Breaking free from an eating disorder may be the hardest things in life
they will ever have to face. This will inevitably make a sufferer feel alone and

Recovery is complex. Not only does an individual have to recover physically, they
also have to rebuild themselves psychologically. They have to find the necessary
skills and tools to cope with life and its resulting emotions without depending on
their eating disorder.

A regular and balanced eating pattern needs to be established and underlying
emotional problems may need to be addressed. Regain of weight in anorexia, or
breaking the binge-purge cycle in bulimia, are both long processes. Relapse is
common but full recovery is possible.

The longer an individual lives in secret with their illness, the higher the chance it
will plague them for the rest of their lives and that treatment will be less
successful. With time, distorted body image and low self-esteem become deep-
rooted behaviours and habits become ingrained, and feelings and emotions fixed.
The treatment response of adults with anorexia is much less positive than for
adolescents: only about a third are in remission after one year of specialist
outpatient psychological treatment and up to 50 per cent of those who remit,
relapse, many within the first year after treatment. Adolescents have the
greatest chance of making a full recovery from an eating disorder.

Guidelines on treatment for eating disorders provided by the National Institute
for Health and Clinical Excellence tell you what you can expect from the NHS. To
find out more, visit www.for a downloadable leaflet about what the Guidelines

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