How do you recognise an eating disorder?

As it is eating disorder awareness week, here are some stats for you.

Eating disorders can affect children from 6 years old.

They affect 1.25 million people in UK at present and 11% of those are male.

The main ones are anorexia, bulimia and Binge eating disorder (BED).

Bulimia is up there at 40%, anorexia at 10% and BED is the remaining 50%

An exert from my good friend Angelique Panagos, nutritional therapist newsletter below:

Eating disorders are very complex conditions which add a lot of strain on the body, cause very serious medical conditions and may even be fatal. A person battling Eating Disorders may not have all the symptoms of a condition or as their symptoms change your diagnosis can change too. Most people commonly associate Anorexia Nervosa with eating disorders but the reality is there is more than one type. Others include binge eating disorder, bulimia, emotional overeating, purging disorder, and night time eating syndrome.
Each eating disorder is associated with its own unique behavioural and physical signs. Unfortunately it isn’t always easy to recognise that a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder. Here are some of the signs to help you spot if somebody you know is suffering.

Different Eating Disorders

Anorexia – these can include calorie counting, skipping meals, excessive exercising, and vomiting. Physically, look for weight loss, physical weakness, and loss of muscle.
Binge eating – signs to watch out for include food hoarding, buying lots of food, irritability, eating when not hungry and eating until uncomfortably full. People who suffer can often spend a lot of time thinking about food and have low self-esteem.

Bulimia– tell-tale signs include the use of laxitives, comparing bodies with others, vomiting after eating, and eating large amounts of food. Watch out for changes in weight, swelling of the hands and feet, and damage to teeth.

Orthorexia – Orthorexia refers to an unhealthy obsession with eating “pure” food. Food considered “pure” or “impure” can vary from person to person. This doesn’t mean that anyone who subscribes to a healthy eating plan or diet is suffering from orthorexia. As with other eating disorders, the eating behaviour involved – “healthy” or “clean” eating in this case – is used to cope with negative thoughts and feelings, or to feel in control. Someone using food in this way might feel extremely anxious or guilty if they eat food they feel is unhealthy.

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder there are two important things to remember. The first one is to know that you’re not alone. Secondly, there is help out there. Seeking help can be the most challenging part of suffering from a mental health disorder and it’s understandable that you might feel sick at the thought. There are many resources and people that can help you including your local GP, online forums, facebook groups and books. The main port of call should be your GP as they can offer you support and refer you to a specialist immediately. Before you go to your GP, you could look online for support and information. A great resource is the charity Beat Eating Disorders.

This is all very close to home for me Dr Natalie as i have suffered with disorders in the past myself. Please get help or at least ask questions. I am here to support you anyway i can. Contact me at

eating disorders
Natalie Robertson
Advanced ABC practitioner
Life Coach


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