Health Care Providers usually rely on specific criteria for diagnosing someone with bulimia or anorexia. The diagnosis of compulsive overeating is less specific and more based on the clinician's judgment about the compulsive need to eat large quantities of food. Regardless of the diagnosis, no list of symptoms can ever convey the totality of the pain and suffering of the person and the people surrounding them. In addition, many people suffer from eating disorders and do not meet every criteria on a screening checklist.
Some of the signs of Anorexia:
- Refusal to maintain normal weight for age and height.
- Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
- Undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
- In females, absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles when expected to occur.
- Some anorexics may also engage in recurrent episodes of binge eating and purging with the use of laxatives, exercise or vomiting.
Some of the signs of Bulimia:
- Recurrent episodes of binge eating (eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time).
- Feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating during the episode.
- A minimum average of 2 binge episodes a week for at least 3 months.
- Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.
- Person purges through self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, exercise or strict dieting.