About eight million American women suffer from eating disorders. Oftentimes, women harbor an eating disorder for years or develop one late in life, under the guise of dieting.
Here are a few signs that you or a friend may suffer from one:
- You find yourself only wanting to eat alone. This strange, ritualistic behavior hides how much, or how little, you eat and may imply that you think eating is disgusting and don’t want other people to even see you do it.
- You’re losing or gaining a lot of weight quickly. While in a starvation period, an anorexic can drop the pounds fast… but he or she may follow it up with a binging episode, rapidly regaining some of the weight. If your weight yo-yo’s because of extreme dietary habits, you may have a problem.
- You look skeletal. Scary skeleton-like shoulders, visible ribs, sunken, dark circles around your eyes, Barbie doll legs, and a chest that’s caving in - these are all red flags that your dietary habits aren’t healthy.
- You get distressed about food. Your co-worker brings a batch of beautifully-decorated red velvet cupcakes to the office, and all you can think of is the number of calories and the saturated fats. So you avoid the cupcakes and your friend instead.
- You stop getting your period. This is your body’s way of saying “you’re too darn skinny!” It may also be indicative of other serious health problems. Check with your physician if your menstrual cycle stops.