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 can’t emphasise enough what a massive part SWEDA have played in my journey to finding myself again. They are an incredible charity and are brilliant at their job. Over the past two years I have really started to understand myself and I have addressed issues that I had hid away in the past and with my counsellor’s amazing listening, non-judgmental and supportive skills I have been able to take back control of myself and rationally look at my emotions in day to day life."

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