Warning Signs That Your Teen May Have An Eating Disorder
Teens are increasingly becoming susceptible to the development of an eating disorder. The pressure to be thin is massive due to their constant exposure to ideal images in the media. It’s a difficult time for young people and parents need to be there to support them. Observe your teens for the following signs of eating disorders:
Dramatic Weight Loss
If you see them drastically losing weight, then look more closely into their eating habits. There is a difference between healthy weight loss and an unhealthy one brought about by a crash diet. Radical fluctuations are also a red flag. They may get thinner quickly but then gain back all that the lost and possibly more, repeating in an endless cycle.
Obsession with Weight
Another sign is an obsession with weight which may be manifested by frequent use of the bathroom scale. They may constantly talk about food and the labels containing nutrition information. Being aware of their nutrient and calorie intake is commendable but they can go overboard. It is especially alarming if they are always on the lookout for new types of diets and trying them out.
Excessive Fluid Intake
Some people try to limit their calories by drinking large quantities of fluid. This makes them feel full quickly thus reducing their craving for food. Although the body has high tolerance for fluid intake, drinking too much too fast can lead to hyponatremia which is a dangerous state of electrolyte imbalance. The fluids must have ample nutrients like sodium and potassium as well.
Watch closely if your teens are starting to avoid meal times as well as other situations that involve food. This may be an indication of an underlying eating disorder that’s causing them to withdraw from communal activities. Aside from being unhealthy for their physical well-being, it is also detrimental to their social life.
Self-induced Vomiting or Substance Abuse
In extreme cases, teens resort to vomiting to get rid of the food they ate and prevent weight gain. Others try to control their weight through laxatives and diuretics. There are also plenty of diet pills on the market. Talk to your child if you see these behaviors.
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