Adult woman with eating disorder struggling to eat

Spotting The Signs of Eating Disorders in Adults

Though a common image, eating disorders don’t just affect teenage girls. Anyone – regardless of sex, age, or gender – can develop an eating disorder. However, if that fact is not acknowledged, eating disorders in adults can go unrecognized. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the common signs (and what can be done to help oneself or someone else).

One of the barriers to recognizing an eating disorder is that there are several types. While there may be a thread of similarity, each of the three most common eating disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder – have different signs and criteria.

What are the Signs of Eating Disorders in Adults?

According to stats from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), 9% of Americans (28.8 million people), suffer from a form of an eating disorder. Because this condition can lead to serious health risks, including fatality, it is especially important to be aware of the associated signs.

Four signs of an adult eating disorder include:

  1. Cognitive health changes: Slower thinking, trouble concentrating, mental fatigue, memory problems
  2. Trips to the bathroom after eating: May indicate possible purging, laxative use, or other behaviors
  3. Changes in eating habits: Restrictive and limited eating or binge eating
  4. Fluctuations in weight: Including weight loss or weight gain

How Can a Mental Health Provider Help?

If these warning signs are recognized, getting help as soon as possible is the best course of action. Not only can qualified professionals help navigate and create healthy eating habits, but they can also help someone navigate the driving force behind their disordered eating.

Dana Group Behavioral Health in Massachusetts provides expert treatment for all eating disorders – including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. A mental health provider can guide you toward taking control of an eating disorder and enjoying a happier, healthier life.

Read More About Signs To Seek Help For Adult Eating Disorders