Anorexia Nervosa – Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia

The signs and symptoms of the anorexia do not appear rapidly. The major cause of this delay is the habit of the anorexic person to tell a lie about his eating habits. When the patient starts cutting his food, having over exercise and uses the weight loss techniques, it is hard to observe it in the start. The patient himself does not want to describe it and other people cannot detect it. So the disorder stays hidden. However the closer people feel the changes at last. As the anorexia progresses, the routine changes come into focus. This time too, the patient makes excuses and argues in favor of these changes to hide the emotions and desire to lose the weight. He thinks that the people will criticize the changes which are improvements in his own point of view. But he cannot keep it secret forever. If not treated, the signs and symptoms of the anorexia appear and require proper treatment.

The signs and symptoms of anorexia can be divided into three categories.

1.  Purging Symptoms

2. Food behavior Symptoms

3. Body Image Symptoms

1. Purging Symptoms of Anorexia
  • The anorexic person is found using laxatives, diuretics and diet pills. He continuously uses appetizers, herbal formulae and other supplements to decrease the weight.
  • In severe conditions the patient may vomit out the eaten food. He may go outside or to the bathroom and comes back with the signs and smell of post-vomited mouth.
  • The anorexic person may make compelled exercises. He does exercises even in bad weather, illness, with injury and other unfavorable conditions just like a compulsory and punishment type of situation.
2. Anorexic Food Behavior Symptoms
  • The anorexic person is found reading food labels, weighing and counting calories, reading nutritional values, discussing fatty effects and weight increasing qualities.
  • He refuses to eat at public places or in different plates just to keep limited in eating.
  • He concentrates on cooking but not on eating. He looks for the cooking methods and recipes but keeps busy in other works at the time of eating.
  • The patient does dieting in all conditions, devoid of being thin or fat. He eats only low calorie foods and avoids carbohydrates and fatty acids foods.
  • The person with anorexia avoids eating. He keeps waiting, avoiding, playing with foods and excusing keeping away from food. He pretends to have eaten much or claims his stomach is troubled
3. Body Image Symptoms of Anorexia
  • The patient examines himself in the mirror again and again and for the long durations. He checks his belly, waist and moves of his body while standing there. He feels never satisfied and found worried about flaws of his body structures.
  • The anorexic person loses weight with great speed without any apparent medical cause.
  • He concerns the weight most. He takes the notice of even little variations in his weight and gets worried. He remains fixed to hid general body structure.
  • He always feels fat. He even counts the necessary fats of his belly and thighs. He is a permanent fat in his mind and looks at himself as he is getting fat and fat.
  • When someone tries to convince him about his little weight, he shows dissatisfaction. He keeps no ear for his slimness and wears heavy cloths to hide his “assumed fatness”.

In short the person with anorexia becomes the calculator of his personality odds. He is always in numbering, counting, analyzing, dieting, searching, fasting, medicating and worrying until he is properly treated.

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