If you believe that someone close to you is suffering with an eating disorder, you may find yourself searching to uncover the signs of spotting someone has an eating disorder.

If this resonates with you, we are on hand to help.

In the UK, it is thought that up to 3.4 million people are affected by eating disorders.

In January 2020, the NHS reported that there were nearly 20,000 hospital admissions for eating disorders in 2019.  At least one-quarter of those admitted were under the age of 18.

As documentaries continue to bring to light the consequences that eating disorders have on people of all ages across the country, you may have reason to believe that someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder.


Types of Eating Disorders

Before distinguishing if an eating disorder is present, it is important to understand that there are various types of eating disorders that an individual can suffer with.  These include;

  • – Anorexia Nervosa
  • – Bulimia
  • – Binge Eating Disorder
  • – Other Specific Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)


Causes of Eating Disorders

Determining the cause of an eating disorder can be somewhat perplexing.  In many cases, there is no specific reason that an eating disorder is present.

However, several risk factors contribute to the likelihood that an eating disorder will have an impact on an individual’s life.

In the UK, the ever-changing beauty standards and media influences on body image are one of the largest risk factors faced.

The portrayal of men and women in film, TV, magazines and on social media determine what the ideal body should look like.

As a result, those that believe they do not fit this perfect vision are left with low self-esteem and often begin suffering unknowingly with an eating disorder in an attempt to alter their appearance.

Stress, problems at home, bullying and post-traumatic stress disorder are additional risk factors that can increase the possibility of someone suffering from an eating disorder.


Signs of Spotting Someone Has an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are psychological illnesses.  In the same way that you cannot physically see that someone is suffering from depression, you cannot always determine if someone is impacted by an eating disorder by looking at them.

While assumptions lead many to believe that someone with an eating disorder will look extremely underweight, this is incorrect.

Those battling disorders can be within an average weight range and have a healthy BMI.

When an eating disorder is present, it is common for loved ones and friends to notice that something is not quite right.

They may even have concerns than an eating disorder is present well before the individual suffering recognises that they may have one.

Signs of spotting someone has an eating disorder may include;

  • – Extreme weightless
  • – Avoiding eating with others and wanting to eat on their own
  • – Avoiding eating certain food groups, such as carbohydrates
  • – Constantly tracking the number of calories that they have consumed
  • – Expressing that they think they are overweight, or that they do not like their appearance on a regular basis
  • – Excessive exercise
  • – Making excuses to use the bathroom during or straight after a meal
  • – Lack of energy
  • – Stating that they wished they looked like someone else

Many believe that only females are subject to eating disorders.  However, this is not true.  Eating disorder charity BEAT has reported that approximately 25% of people suffering from an eating disorder in the UK are male.

Unfortunately, due to the stigma around mental health disorders in men, they are increasingly hesitant to admit that they have an unhealthy relationship with food.

Signs that an eating disorder is present in a male may be slightly different from those that would typically be identified in a female. Symptoms that an eating disorder is present may include;

  • – Over-exercising
  • – Regularly skips meals
  • – Refusing to eat certain food groups
  • – Constant tracking of calories
  • – Avoiding social events where food is likely to be present
  • – Weighs themselves daily, checking for any physical changes
  • – Believes that their body looks different from what it does
  • – Fears gaining weight


How to help someone with an eating disorder

As a parent or even friend, you will understandably want the best for the individual suffering with an eating disorder.  You may think that you can help them overcome their eating disorder on your own.

However, taking matters into your own hands can have disastrous consequences not only on the person affected by an eating disorder, but on your relationship with them.

It is essential to remember that an eating disorder is a mental health condition.  Due to their very nature, physical and psychological treatment will be required to truly help the individual overcome their disorder.

This treatment is best administered by professionals through the employment of therapy and counselling.

If you are hoping to help someone with an eating disorder, the best thing that you can do is to aid their understanding of the treatments that are available to them.

You could even stage an intervention if you believe that it is in their best interested.


Eating Disorder Treatment and Support at Asana Lodge

At Asana Lodge, we provide residential treatment for eating disorders at our Rehabilitation Centre in Towcester, Northamptonshire.

Residential treatment is proven to be extremely useful. It can help those suffering overcome their disorder and positively alter their relationship with food and more importantly, themselves and their body.

From supported meals to around the clock care and therapy to aftercare, our treatment can help those living with an eating disorder comprehend what has influenced their disorder, determine their triggers and relapse signs and live a healthier and happier life.


Contact Us Today

If, upon understanding the signs of spotting someone has an eating disorder, you believe your loved one would benefit from seeking treatment for their eating disorder, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We can provide support and advice to determine the best course of action.

Simply give us a call on 01908 489 421 or email enquiries@asanalodge.co.uk.  Together, we can help your loved one overcome their eating disorder.


John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 23 October 2020

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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