February 8, 2023

Signs Your Child May Have an Eating Disorder

While it is common for children and teens to feel unhappy with their body shape and size, for some, these concerns may lead to behaviors that pose serious medical consequences.

These are just a few possible signs your child's habits may indicate an eating disorder. It's important to note that simply the indication of these signs is by no means a diagnoses, they are simply habits worth monitoring and reaching out to a professional should you ever have any questions.

Possible Signs of Eating Disorders

Your Child is Eating Less

Restricting – Intentionally or unintentionally reducing the quantity of food a person eats. Restricting is a common symptom of anorexia nervosa.

Your Child is Eating Too Much

Binging – Eating an unusually large amount of food in a single sitting and finding it difficult to control oneself during a binge. Binge eating disorder is common with binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.

Your Child is Using Laxatives

Purging – An attempt to remove the calories that one recently consumed through behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or using laxatives. Purging  is a common symptom of bulimia and sometimes anorexia.

Your Child is Exercising Too Much

Excessive Exercise – Exercise can become excessive when the body is pushed past its limits or causes problems in other areas of one’s life in an effort to eliminate calories and lose weight. It can be a symptom of anorexia or bulimia.

Common Eating Disorder Diagnoses

These behaviors can be a part of a number of different diagnoses, but some of the common eating disorder diagnoses we treat include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

For more about these diagnoses, check out our Eating Disorder Guide.

Have Any Questions About Eating Disorders?

Cadence Child & Adolescent Therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for you, your child, and your family. Our mental health specialists have many years of experience helping patients of all ages who struggle with eating disorders and other mental health conditions. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation, you may call our Bellevue office at (425) 658-3200 or fill out our online form.

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