5 Warning Signs of Orthorexia – 2024 Guide

Looking at common behaving patterns, we can say that this truly is a strange time. On the one hand, due to living in a world where every second count, we often look for something to eat quickly, while walking (fast food), but on the other hand, we are much obsessed with our appearance, how we look, whether we are in shape or not.

This disbalance is the basis for most problems, and that, combined with stress, is the main cause of eating disorders, and it’s no wonder why today, there are so many of them. Namely, almost 10% of the world population is suffering some kind of eating disorder, which means that it is crucial to notice it on time and act accordingly.

But in order to be able to react, one first needs to know what to look for and what the signs are.

Orthorexia is the type of eating disorder when the person becomes overly focused or obsessed with the quality of the food they consume. Although we all want to eat healthily, there is no reason to go to extremes since orthorexia could further lead to much bigger health problems if not treated. For more info on orthorexia, why and how it is different from anxiety and depression, along with advice on how to treat it, check oliverpyattcenters.com. But if you want to find out more about the five warning signs of orthorexia, continue reading.

1. Emotional problems

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Many things in our life are closely connected to how we feel, which is particularly true for eating disorders, where our emotions play a significant role in all that. This mainly happens due to people being preoccupied with food quality and following a specified diet, and that’s where all the problems originate. People with orthorexia have strong emotions linked to food and its preparation, and mood swings are not unusual. Sometimes they may feel too excited and happy because of some meal, and at the other moment totally pessimistic and discouraged because of their diet.

These mood changes and emotional reactions can lead to many difficulties with other people, and the person may feel rejected and abandoned, which can make the healing process even harder. That is why emotional distress is the first sign of orthorexia, and if not treated on time, or, even worse, if you completely ignore these mood swings, treating it later may get even more challenging. Of course, mood swings are nothing unusual, and detecting eating disorders may get overlooked, especially since we live a fast-paced way of life, but if there are some sudden and unexpected changes in our mood, it is a sign to set an appointment with the specialists.

2. Obsession with food

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We all enjoy some meal or at least have a favorite one, and although some people love food, are true foodie, and enjoy eating it, but are not particularly happy to prepare it, that is nothing strange. On the other hand, there are those who are much more satisfied while preparing than eating it, which is also a pretty common thing, and, more importantly, these are some normal behaviors, and they do not need to be a sign that something is wrong.

Of course, if the person is obsessed with food and is carefully reading and examining all the ingredients, that is a sign that something is wrong. If someone has a problem with Orthorexia, each conversation with that person will be about food, as they will read every ingredient of any snack or food, prepare it for hours, and almost always avoid eating a meal cooked by someone else. This obsession is leaving them a small amount of time for some other activities, and those people are usually alone with their problems, which only enhance their fixation with food preparation and ingredients.

3. Bad relationships with other people

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Having an eating disorder is extremely difficult for every person because of many reasons. They are preoccupied with thinking about meals and their diet, which usually means that it is the only thing they talk about. On the other hand, long preparations are not leaving them enough time for hanging out with friends, meaning that their social life suffers. These people usually judge others who don’t share their views on food and diet, and every conversation with them may lead to a debate.

Because of that, friends are avoiding them, which leads to loneliness. Being alone is not easy for anyone, and it can be even harder for those who have a problem and need help and support from others. It’s not like they do not want to talk and be friends with others, it’s just that in most cases, those who have an eating disorder and behave in the way we mentioned above are simply not aware that they have a problem in the first place.

4. Avoiding social events

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One of the main signs that something is wrong is when someone starts avoiding any social events which involve food, no matter the occasion. The other problem is that many are treating the condition and not the cause, and even if someone succeeds and overcome orthorexia if the cause is not dealt with, the mood swings and everything else on this list may come back.

People suffering from orthorexia are avoiding all social events because the food at these gatherings doesn’t meet their standards. It is much easier not to go than having to explain the main and true reasons for not going to others and deal with their curiosity. The obsession with food can go so far that the person will avoid going to the cinema because that night out usually ends with some junk and unhealthy food.

5. Malnutrition

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Now, one may wonder how come malnutrition can be a problem and a sign of orthorexia, but when we dedicate all of our attention and time to what we eat and how to prepare some meal, that obsession can lead to disbalance in the body and malnutrition. Feeling tired and not having enough energy are just some of the symptoms, and if not dealt with in time, it can lead to further physical and psychological problems.