Some of the signs you have an eating disorder are quite obvious: a huge drop in weight, a tendency to skip meals, or vomiting after meals. However, binge eating disorder, anorexia, and bulimia can reveal themselves in other subtle ways too. One thing that is certain: the body will try physically and mentally to send out warning signs that something is wrong. While you might not pick up on one or two of these symptoms by themselves, multiple symptoms are warning signs you that have eating disorder issues and should seek medical attention sooner than later. You could be causing irreversible damage to vital organs, or this eating disorder could even kill you.
1. Swollen Cheeks
One of the many signs you have eating disorder issues is the appearance of swollen cheeks. When persistent swelling appears near your jaw line, it can be an early warning sign of bulimia, and this is a good indication some form of purging may be present. Unlike those who suffer from anorexia, people with eating disorders like bulimia can often maintain a normal weight, or even be above normal, but the purging will often give way to the swollen cheeks regardless of the overall weight. The reason the cheeks become swollen is because the salivary glands, known as the parotid glands, are swelling. Depending how often purging occurs, the swelling may occur at different stages of the eating disorder.
2. Fear of Eating in Public
People who have an eating disorder tend to feel self-conscious or shy eating in public because they are overly concerned with body image. You get that overwhelming feeling that everyone in the room is watching you, judging you, and it causes you to lock down and stop eating. By this point, it is nerve-wracking to simply eat at all outside the comfort of your home. When you have an eating disorder, your anxiety levels skyrocket at the thought of having to eat in a public setting. So if forced to be around other people to eat, you tend to eat very small amounts and then rush to get back home to binge the rest of the day. That guilty feeling after eating when others are present is a clear sign something is wrong.