Anorexia Athletica Symptoms: Here Are The Telltale Signs of This Disorder

Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight. In many cases, people suffering from this disorder will restrict calories and obsess over food, but that is not the only way in which the disorder presents itself. Sometimes sufferers take a different route: they become obsessed with losing weight through physical activities.

This condition, known as anorexia athletica, involves a compulsion to exercise and lose weight. Here are some warning signs you should look for if you are worried about someone's health.

Extreme Behavior

There are lots of fitness fans who do not have an eating disorder. They may go to the gym, do yoga, or take a run every single day and be fine.

Someone with anorexia athletica will be obsessed about working out. His workout sessions may last unusually long or be surprisingly frequent. He may blow off other things, like work or social activities, in favor of working out. He may push himself to work out even when he's sick, in pain or exhausted.

Your friend might talk about working out, calorie counting, body sculpting, weight, and other related topics a lot, even when they're not working out.

Compulsion

If the person in question doesn't get to the gym or doesn't get in the workout he had planned, he may become stressed out, irritable, or angry. He may act like an addict in need of a fix.

A person with anorexia athletica might also have strict rules and regiments when it comes to food. They may look fit, or underweight, but they still go out of their way to count calories. They'll often decline food or find some way to duck out at mealtimes. They prefer to eat in private because they don't want others to notice their eating habits.

Appearance

People suffering from anorexia can't hide the damage they're doing to their bodies for long. In time, the damage will show on the outside. A person with anorexia may begin losing hair, their nails may become brittle and dry, their skin may dry out, and they may begin having a lot of dental problems. Often, they'll be underweight—though an obese person can develop anorexia. If this is the case, the person will probably be losing weight rapidly.

Behavior

Aside from the compulsions and obsessions, you may notice further changes in your loved one. He may have trouble concentrating and focusing. He may become fatigued easily or suffer from dizzy spells. He may show signs of anxiety and depression. A woman might experience an irregular menstrual cycle, or she may stop menstruating altogether.

It can be hard to tell sometimes when people have eating disorders, especially when they are working out and seem fit on the outside. Be observant, however, and you'll start to see the signs.

Sources: The Health Site, The Telegraph, Eating Disorder Hope

Photo: Pixabay

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