Eating disorders and disordered eating diagnosis often bring with it many questions.  How? What? Where? Why?  Why seems to be the one that people get stuck on the most.  However, looking backwards doesn’t help you look forward to where you need to go.  Find a great team to support you and your loved one and learn as much about an eating disorder as you can.  You can find more information  here.

What are signs that someone may have an eating disorder?

Please note that you do not need to have all of these to have an eating disorder. They are simply some common signs.


  • Preoccupation with body weight
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Body checking
  • Extreme moods
  • Use of laxatives or diuretics
  • Vomitting after eating
  • Checking nutritional content of foods
  • Odd eating behaviour like cutting up food really small
  • Not eating foods you otherwise liked before
  • Not wanting to eat in front of other people
  • Have food rules
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Languna (fine body hair)
  • No longer having monthly cycles
  • Hair falling out
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Secrecy around food
  • Feeling guilty about eating food
  • Unexplained stomach issues
  • Food rituals such as eating things in a certain order




Anorexia is generally characterized by extreme food restriction, weight loss, body image distortion and preoccupation with nutritional content.

Does an eating disorder just go away?

No, they do not just go away.  People living with an eating disorder usually require both intensive medical and psychological intervention.

how did you know it was an eating disorder?

It took many trips to the ER with stomach pain, dehydration and a litany of other physical complaints to finally get a doctor who clued in.  The ER doctor asked my daughter in private if she was intentionally restricting and she answered yes.  Thank goodness for a doctor who knew the obscure signs.  Always seek a doctor’s diagnosis and help.  Please do not self diagnose or treat.


what was the most important thing to learn?

Besides immersing myself in the world of eating disorders and disordered eating, communication was the single biggest indicator for a path to recovery.  I had to learn how to communicate with a malnourished child and establish trust that I was acting in her best interest.  Talk openly and learn their cues and triggers.

how will i know when my loved one is recovered?

Recovery isn’t linear or a straight path. Every person’s journey is different and there can be relapses along the way.  As long as you are making progress, celebrate that.  The ED voice is strong, and your loved one is working very hard to overcome hearing them.

Register for the Ultimate Guide to Eating Disorders for Parents and Caregivers

All of the other FAQs are answered in much more depth in the course.  You can register here


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Hope is something I learned to carry with me always.  I had to hold hope for both my daughter and myself.  Oftentimes she didn’t have any, and I knew if I let go of that she may doubt it.  



Setting and holding boundaries with an eating disorder is key.  ED will push boundaries and get angry when they are set and held.  However, without firm boundaries in place, it makes recovery more difficult. 



Communication – wow this is a huge one and sometimes the most difficult to initiate.  I had to learn my daughter’s verbal and non verbal cues for when she was stressed or triggered and ask if I could support her.  I found if I was non judgmental, our relationship became easier.