4 doctors weighed in:

How can I help my friend with anorexia? I suspect my friend is anorexic. What are some of the tell tale signs, and at what point would she need to hospitalized?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Anorexia

Anorexia is a very difficult disease to detect and manage.
People with the disorder become very good at hiding their vomiting behavior, etc. Some telltale signs are significant tooth discoloration or damage to teeth (from repetitive vomiting), rapid weight loss, aversion to eating/avoidance of food, hair falling out/brittle, sunken eyes. However, all of these happen late in the disease process. As for when to hospitalize, it is usually for dehydration (from vomiting or laxative abuse). This leads to electrolyte imbalances which can been dangerous. Otherwise, hospitalizations are for when the patients become so malnourished and weak, that they can't function.

In brief: Anorexia

Anorexia is a very difficult disease to detect and manage.
People with the disorder become very good at hiding their vomiting behavior, etc. Some telltale signs are significant tooth discoloration or damage to teeth (from repetitive vomiting), rapid weight loss, aversion to eating/avoidance of food, hair falling out/brittle, sunken eyes. However, all of these happen late in the disease process. As for when to hospitalize, it is usually for dehydration (from vomiting or laxative abuse). This leads to electrolyte imbalances which can been dangerous. Otherwise, hospitalizations are for when the patients become so malnourished and weak, that they can't function.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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Dr. Louis Cady
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Body image

If your friend is really really thin, chronically exercising, and/or chronically restricting food, and particularly if your friend thinks she's fat, overweight, etc.
, she most likely has anorexia. The best thing that you can do as a friend is tell her that you care about her and are concerned about her. If the situation gets worse, an "intervention" may have to be done.

In brief: Body image

If your friend is really really thin, chronically exercising, and/or chronically restricting food, and particularly if your friend thinks she's fat, overweight, etc.
, she most likely has anorexia. The best thing that you can do as a friend is tell her that you care about her and are concerned about her. If the situation gets worse, an "intervention" may have to be done.
Dr. Louis Cady
Dr. Louis Cady
Thank
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