Common Symptoms

Eating disorders can be very serious. Depending on the nature and stage of the eating disorder, it can have a wide range of physical and psychological implications.

Some of these symptoms are used by certain diagnostic systems in defining an eating disorder and others are not. Some common symptoms and possible consequences are listed below. It is not the intention to be alarmist but simply to be honest and informative.

The majority of problems associated with the various eating disorders can be redressed in recovery. The information on this page is by no means complete, nor should it be taken as authoritative. Anyone with any medical concerns or questions should consult with their GP or a healthcare professional.

Below are some of the symptoms that sufferers of particular eating disorders may experience. Please note that it is not a complete or comprehensive list, nor is it a diagnostic tool in any way. It is only to show examples of some of the symptoms associated with specific eating disorders. Not everyone one suffering with an eating disorder will necessarily have all of these symptoms.




Those with Compulsive Eating problems also describe a feeling of being worthless and weak willed. They believe that their condition is not as worthy or traumatic as Anorexia or Bulimia. This may increase feelings of shame and lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

© Dr Hugh Herzig

“I had consistently been losing weight for more than 8 months and had become accustomed to eating very little. This triggered a return of my anorexia, after a 20-year period of recovery. SWEDA were able to offer me an appointment the very next day. When we met I was feeling very ill and frightened.I spoke to them about my fears, but then took the decision to go to my doctor on the way home. I was admitted to hospital within a few days.”

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