2 Ways To Tell If Your Child Has An Eating Disorder

Eating disorders can be very unhealthy and dangerous for anyone, but they are particularly dangerous for teenagers or children. Two ways to tell if your child has an eating disorder are to pay attention to their eating habits and enlist the help of your healthcare professionals.

Eating Habits

The easiest way to tell if someone has an eating disorder is to pay close attention while they are eating. For example, if you believe that one of your children is anorexic, then he or she will be taking steps to make it appear that they are eating without actually doing so. One way that this is accomplished is by moving his or her food around on the plate to trick those around them into believing some food was eaten.

Another sign to look out for is if your child is leaving the table very quickly after the meal begins. In that situation, he or she may be leaving the table in order to avoid having to eat more than a small amount. Another reason that your child may be leaving the table quickly is to go and induce vomiting.

Now, bulimia is going to be a bit harder to spot because there are several different types of bulimia. One common type of bulimia is when your child binge eats and then vomits out all of the food. Another type of bulimia simply has your child binge eating without the vomiting, which leads to your child gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time.

For both of those types of bulimia, the main eating habit to watch out for are eating very large amounts of food and eating multiple large servings in a short time. In addition, people with bulimia will snack a lot, so it is also a good idea to keep an eye on your child's snacks between meals. These "snacks" will often be quite large and could even qualify as meals on their own.

Healthcare Professionals

Finally, you can enlist professional help in determining if your child has an eating disorder. For example, when taking your child for a standard checkup, let your physician know that you suspect that the child has an eating disorder. In that case, the doctor can keep an eye out for signs of eating disorders throughout the examination.

Your dentist is also a good resource to use to diagnose an eating disorder. When someone is vomiting repeatedly, it can erode the teeth. This is something that your dentist will likely notice during an exam, but you can also ask the dentist to specifically look for tooth erosion because you suspect bulimia or anorexia.

If you believe that your child has an eating disorder, begin looking for the signs today so that you can get him or her help as soon as possible. By paying attention to your children's eating habits and enlisting the help of your doctor and dentist, you can spot many of the common signs of eating disorders. For more information, contact a local behavioral and mental health clinic, like Associated Psychologists & Counselors.