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Eating Disorders

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Added August 01, 2013

Dangers of Eating Disorders & How You Can Reach Out For Help

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Has something about your friend changed lately? At first she looked a little leaner — great! Then maybe she started dropping weight fast. Worried? We don’t blame you. Your friend may have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are abnormal eating habits that can threaten your health or even your life. It is very serious. Find out the common signs, health risks and how you can reach out for help.


Signs of an Eating Disorder

There are two main types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Girls with either can show these signs:


  • Sudden change in eating habits: Does a friend suddenly say “no” to some of their favorite foods? Or does she always have an excuse for not eating, like she’s not hungry, she just ate or she feels sick? On the reverse, does she binge eat? Does she eat alone instead of with you and friends?

  • Low confidence: Your friend may look great, but she won’t believe you when you tell her. She seems to put herself, her weight and her looks down a lot.

  • Extra exercise and focus on her weight: Is your friend always at the gym these days? Or at home doing the same exercise DVDs? Does she pick working out over hanging out? Has she become overly concerned about her weight?

  • General withdrawal: Where did the bubbly girl you once know go? Have her mood swings become the new norm?


If you notice any of these signs, look to talk to a trusted adult about your concerns for your friend.


Health Risks

Eating disorders don’t just affect weight — they affect the whole body. To be healthy, your body needs nourishment from food. It uses it for energy. Here are some of the health risks and dangers of an eating disorder:


  • Malnutrition (lacking nutrition)
  • Dehydration
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Swelling
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry skin and hair, brittle hair and nails, hair loss
  • Liver failure
  • Infertility
  • Seizures
  • And many more


How to Help

First, talk to a trusted adult with your concerns for your friend. The adult can help determine what to do next. If your friend does have an eating disorder, her recovery will take some time and might include therapy, medication and maybe hospitalization. It’s important that they see a professional for help. The professional will have the expertise to find the right help.


For additional information or to talk to an expert, you could contact these organizations:


  • National Eating Disorders Association by calling 800-931-2237
  • International Mental Health Referral Service by calling 800-THERAPIST or 800-843-7274
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders (ANAD) by calling 847-831-3438
  • —Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders
  • Rader Programs by calling 800-841-1515
  • Referrals to Eating Disorder Specialists (US and Canada): The Renfrew Center by calling 800-RENFREW or 800-736-3739

Rate this:
comments so far
Posted April 14, 2014
@DValue: glad to hear it!
Posted April 09, 2014
To be honest, I've been going through dehydration and depression for a few years now. But since I started listening to my doctor about my habits, I am healthy now.
Posted November 20, 2013
I think my friend is anorexic or has some eating disorder. She doesn't eat anything for breakfast, skips lunch, and whenever she comes over for dinner, she says she just ate when she sees the dinner, even if its a salad and she had said she was starving earlier. I think the only thing I have ever seen her eat is watermelon. I'm gonna talk to her about this when I see her next.
Posted March 29, 2014
I don't like the way i look. I'v been going through depression for the past few months, an I think i may be developing an eating disorder. But, i'm not ready to talk. HELP!
Posted March 01, 2014
uhm I don't really know what you would call this or just GROWING but sometimes I barely feel like eating anything all day (seriously one day I ate 5 pieces of bacon for breakfast then nothing else until next day) and other days I eat literally ALL the snack stuff not to mention bigger meals?
Posted March 29, 2014
I just got over my anorexia and I'm glad I did. My friends and family were really worried. I only told two or so friends about my problem and they were there to help me. ^~^ girls, if you're ever feeling down about your appearance, just listen to a fun song and dance around a bit, or hangout with friends. Stay strong lovelies!
Posted July 31, 2013
I think my best friend is anorexic because she lost a lot of weight pretty quickly (she used to be chubbier). and when we go out to dinner and hang out if we are eating she always goes to the bathroom before and or after she eats and she stays in there forever! mostly she doesnt even eat her food. she's getting pale and starting to look sick. im scared for her. is there any way to tell if she has a eating disorder? or how i can help in anyway without telling her i know? PLEASE IT WOULD MEAN ALLOTTT!
Posted July 28, 2013
Someone help these girls! You are all beautiful the way that you are!
Posted July 15, 2013
I'm really skinny (im like a stick ) and im in the 7th grade and I weigh 70lbs and I don't like to eat all I do is drink water and I'm just never really hungry
Posted September 03, 2013
i love to eat
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