During the teen years, you go through all sorts of personal and physical changes. As teens cope with rapidly changing bodies and the onset of hormonal shifts, eating disorders remain a present threat. When you struggle with an eating disorder, internalized negative feelings or perceptions about your body cause you to deprive yourself of the steady, balanced nutrition you need to stay healthy. With everything a teen has going on, don’t lose time and energy to an eating disorder.
The symptoms of different types of eating disorders vary, and it can be difficult to tell if a teen has a serious problem. Gyula Soos, MD, FAAP cares for new and existing patients during their transition into adolescence and can offer teens expert nutritional and wellness guidance and support from his Dublin, Georgia offices. You can trust the team at Dr. Soos Pediatrics to help teens overcome issues and develop healthy lifelong eating, exercise, and self-esteem habits.
Early detection for maximal protection
When you develop an eating disorder, you become unhealthily focused on weight loss or control over your diet. If teens become preoccupied with counting calories or fitting into the right clothing size, an eating disorder might be the underlying cause.
Eating disorders can follow people for a lifetime — so it’s especially important to detect issues with food, diet, exercise, and self-image early before the damage becomes entrenched. The earlier you can detect an eating disorder, the greater your chances of full recovery. With professional, compassionate support, teens can go on to have a positive relationship with food, nutrition, and their own healthy bodies.
A range of possible symptoms
Several types of eating disorders can become a problem for teens, ranging from food restriction to binge eating to over-exercising. Not everyone with an eating disorder looks thin or rushes off to the bathroom right after eating to purge. Don’t assume, if a teenager’s eating or body image issues aren’t what you think of as stereotypical, an eating disorder couldn’t be a real and serious possibility.
Watch out for:
- Physical signs of a problem, like substantial fluctuations in weight, hair loss, dizziness or lethargy, and menstrual irregularity
- Mental symptoms, including preoccupation with weight or dieting, dramatic mood swings, and difficulty concentrating
- Behavioral concerns, like skipping meals, secretive eating, increasingly restrictive eating, binge eating, fad dieting, and food rituals
- Social and emotional problems, including withdrawal from friends and hobbies and increased concern about physical appearance
Even too much focus on exercise, for example to the detriment of other interests, can be a cause for concern.
If you’re worried about signs of an eating disorder in a teen, get in touch with Dr. Soos today. He can diagnose the exact problem and help you find treatments and resources to get back on the road to physical, mental, and emotional health. You can make an appointment at Dr. Soos Pediatrics over the phone, or request one with the online tool.