If you are a parent, then you must understand the signs of an eating disorder. Approximately 7 percent of adolescent males will develop an eating disorder while roughly 20 percent of adolescent females have this problem. Teenagers who have eating disorders are often secretive about the condition so that their family and friends won’t know about the problem. Here are the five signs that your child has an eating disorder.
When you have a healthy teenager, he will consume a lot of food. Teenagers have a lot of energy, and they are also rapidly growing. If your teenager is losing a lot of weight, then it is often a sign of an eating disorder. It is important to have your teenage child examined by a physician to determine if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing the loss of weight. When your child doesn’t have any medical problems, it isn’t normal for him to continue losing weight.
Teenagers rarely require laxatives, but when they are trying to lose weight, this is a medication that some teenagers will buy at a local drugstore. With laxatives, the intestinal tract is unable to absorb the nutrients from foods because the foods pass through the digestive system too quickly. With laxatives, your child will lose weight rapidly, and you may notice your daughter visiting the bathroom frequently while using this type of medication.
Some teenagers who are trying to lose weight will force themselves to vomit. The acid in vomit will erode your child’s teeth, leading to tooth decay, bad breath, and gum irritation. Your daughter might engage in forced vomiting at home, but she may keep this practice hidden by vomiting at school or in other locations instead. If a dentist notices a lot of enamel damage on your child’s teeth, then you should suspect that she has an eating disorder.
Your child might keep his eating secret by hiding food in his bedroom or vehicle. The signs of secret eating are finding food wrappers and containers under the beds or stuffed into the trash. Teenagers who engage in secretive binge eating may gain weight from overeating, or they may overeat before using laxatives or vomiting.
If you have a child who is talking about different types of diets all of the time, then she probably has an eating disorder. Today, young children in addition to teenagers learn about strange diet plans that exclude certain foods that are vital for their health. If your daughter and her friends are constantly talking about diet plans, then you must speak with your child about eating disorders.
If you suspect that your child is engaging in dangerous behaviors with food, then it is essential to learn more about professional eating disorder treatment with specialists. Your teenager can join a support group with his peers, and he can also learn new cognitive behavioral techniques to overcome an eating disorder.