If you've noticed changes in your teen's weight, and they've been secretive about those changes, they may be dealing with an eating disorder. Stress, school-related issues, and changes in hormones can increase the risk for eating disorders. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to identify an eating disorder, especially when your teen won't communicate with you. If you're worried that your teen has developed an eating disorder, it's important that you seek treatment for them as soon as possible. Read the information provided below. If your teen is showing any of the signs described below, seek treatment for your teen's eating disorder.
They've Changed Dietary Habits
If your teen has changed their eating habits, you need to take a closer look at those changes. You might think that restrictive diets are the only way to identify an eating disorder, but that's not the case. There are other changes that can point to an eating disorder as well. For instance, you might have noticed that snacks are being consumed quicker than they had been. You may have found empty food containers around your teens' room. Or, you may have found hidden stashes of snack foods in your teens' room. Those can all be signs of an eating disorder.
They've Increased Dental Hygiene
If you've noticed changes in your teen's dental hygiene routine, there may be an underlying eating disorder that needs to be addressed. This is especially true if your teen has been purging — vomiting after meals to get food out of their stomach. If your teen is purging, they may brush their teeth or gargle with mouthwash each time they use the bathroom. Or, you may notice that your teen chews on breath mints throughout the day. If you're noticing any of these changes, your teen may need treatment for an eating disorder.
They've Changed Their Clothing
If your teen has made drastic changes to the clothing they wear, they may be hiding a bigger issue. They may be attempting to hide changes to their weight. Wearing clothes that are several sizes too big can hide either drastic weight loss or weight gain. If your teen refuses to wear clothes that fit, or insists on wearing clothing that provides head-to-toe coverage, it may be a sign that they need help with an eating disorder.
They've Started Taking Laxatives
If you've discovered that your teen is taking laxatives, or diuretics, take the situation seriously. Teens often take laxatives and diuretics as a way to speed up the weight loss process. Laxative and diuretic abuse can cause serious health problems for your teen. Help your teen recover from their eating disorder by seeking an eating disorder treatment program.