Eating Disorders: Signs & Symptoms


  • Significant weight loss of 15% or more of person's expected weight for the person's height
  • Loss of menstruation
  • Downy-like hair growth on face and arms
  • No energy
  • Permanent tooth damage from vomiting
  • Tissue damage to throat & esophagus
  • Seizures
  • Kidney damage
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Scrape marks on back of fingers as a result of repeated attempts to purge


  • Preoccupation with body weight
  • Distorted body image
  • Intense fear of becoming obese, which doesn't diminish as weight loss progresses
  • Refusal to maintain normal body weight
  • Fear of not being able to stop eating voluntarily
  • Has very strict rules surrounding food


  • Episodic binge eating
  • Hides food
  • Plays with food on plate at mealtimes, but eats very little
  • Repeated attempts to lose weight by utilizing severely restrictive diets, self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives/enemas/ diuretics, appetite suppressants, or vigorous/excessive exercise
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom right after meals
  • Constant weighing of self

How To Help Someone You Suspect Has An Eating Disorder