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Eating Disorder or A Fad?

answered 04:30 PM EST, Thu February 28, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
My 15 year old daughter is very smart and talented but she is also very driven and I worry that she cannot seem to relax very well and smile more. I am worried that she may have an eating disorder but I am not sure how to tell. First she went vegetarian and that was fine and then she went vegan and that was getting extreme but OK and now she is avoiding gluten as well and it is getting pretty hard for her to eat with the family at all. She does not mind eating alone but it bothers me. She says she is opposed to harming any kind of animal and that gluten gives her an upset stomach. I am worried she is using her dietary restrictions to mask unhealthy eating. How do I know if she is? She is quite thin but I do not think she is anorexia thin yet. Is there some way to tell for sure?

Lita Perna Says...

Lita Perna L. Perna
MA, Family and Community Counseling

You do not say how long this behavior has been going on. The best way to tell if your daughter has an eating disorder is to take her to a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. Your daughter may not have an eating disorder but both of you can still benefit by seeing someone.It can’t hurt. Gluten has been in the news. Is your daughter’s upset stomach due to gluten, something new for her? She may just be following a fad, but it also does seem that eating restrictions have become progressive with her.

Anorexia is just one of many eating disorders which are a group of conditions defined by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake. Those with anorexia become obsessed with food and thoughts of food. They think about it constantly and become compulsive about their food choices or eating rituals.

Whether or not this sounds like your daughter, please seek professional help.

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