Possible Symptoms of Anorexia and Bulimia Existing

Possible Symptoms of Anorexia and Bulimia Existing
By Nicole Bourquin, MS, BA

Possible Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa in Athletes:

1. Amenorrhea, or lack of starting menstruation (girls)
2. Dehydration, pale, dry skin, sunken eyes, wrinkled fingers, and lethargy
3. Unusual or constant fatigue
4. Gastrointestinal problems (constipation, diarrhea, bloating)
5. Hyperactivity, sometimes almost seeming “manic”
6. Cold intolerance
7. Avoidance of eating and eating situations with others
8. Repeated weighing practice—many times a day
9. Avoidance of dressing in front of team members and others
10. Suddenly wearing sweats during training
11. Claims of “feeling fat” despite being thin
12. Compulsiveness and rigidity, especially regarding eating and exercise (excessive calorie counting, etc.)
13. Excessive or obligatory exercise beyond what is required for their sport; a sudden increase in training hours, or training when injured
14. Minimal eating while being at a low weight, playing with food, making it look as if they have eaten, or eating food and spitting it out
15. Depression, declined interest in social situations, and/or isolation
16. Resistance to weight gain or maintenance recommended by professionals

Possible Symptoms of Bulimia and/or Other Disordered Eating in Athletes:

1. Abrasion or scar on the back of the hand from self-induced vomiting
2. Dehydration, muscle cramps, weakness, etc.
3. Dental, gum problems, halitosis (bad breath), “cotton” or dry mouth
4. Water retention (Edema), bloating
5. Electrolyte imbalances, fainting, light headedness, “black-outs”
6. Weight fluctuations, often with mood fluctuations where as a worse mood occurs as an individual gains weight
7. Gastrointestinal problems
8. Menstrual irregularity
9. Swollen parotid glands, “chipmunk cheeks,” puffy, red, blood-shot eyes
10. Binge eating, secretive eating and/or hiding food
11. Depression/isolation, and/or extreme mood swings
12. Extreme dieting practices, including the use of diet aids or diet teas, “detox diets”
13. Use of laxatives and/or diuretics
14. Use of the restroom right after eating, running water in the restroom, or “taking a shower” right after eating
15. Stealing, especially when items taken are related to bulimia (i.e. food, laxatives, money)
16. Substance abuse—legal, illegal, prescribed, or over-the-counter drugs (speed/methamphetamine), diet pills, highly caffeinated drinks, and/or steroid use

Reprinted with permission from Eating Disorders Recovery Today
Fall 2005 Volume 3, Number 4
©2005 Gürze Books

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