Am I Anorexic?

Page content

Am I Anorexic? A Checklist of Signs and Symptoms

When people begin to comment on your weight or show concern about your health and eating patterns and a gaunt appearance stares back at you in the mirror, a question can begin to swirl: “Am I anorexic?” Though this checklist can’t ‘diagnose’ anorexia (only a therapist or medical doctor can give a diagnosis), it is a useful tool that you may find helpful.

Physical Signs and Symptoms

  1. Extreme loss of weight (15% of body weight – so a person who weighs 100 pounds drops to 85 pounds)
  2. Dry, brittle nails
  3. Intolerance to cold and heat
  4. Fatigue and weakness or becomes exhausted quickly
  5. Thinning hair
  6. Yellowish tint to skin
  7. Eyes sinking into skull
  8. Low blood pressure
  9. Low heart rate
  10. Anemia (low iron count in the blood)
  11. Absence of menstrual cycle (amenorrhea)
  12. Dry skin, easy bruising
  13. Fine, white hair covering body (lanugo occurs to keep the body warm due to the loss of fat)
  14. Irregular heart beat or heart failure
  15. Kidney malfunction or failure

Mental/Emotional Signs and Symptoms

  1. Displays fear, anxiety, or anger towards food
  2. Withdrawn and depressed
  3. Mood swings are prominent
  4. Poor body image
  5. Low self confidence
  6. Possibly suicidal

Behavior Signs and Symptoms

  1. Will not eat in public or with friends and family. The person looks to avoid all meals
  2. Follows food rituals: cuts food into little bites, chews the food a particular amount of times before swallowing, hides food, doesn’t allow food or the fork to touch the lips
  3. Imbalanced eating: will only allow certain foods while other foods are forbidden (especially cuts out sugar, fat, sweets, and carbohydrates)
  4. Constantly moving and exercising to burn calories
  5. Hides food or eats in secret
  6. Exercises and over exercises to burn calories
  7. Always weighing oneself
  8. Vomiting after meals
  9. Taking diet pills, laxatives or diuretics

Disordered Beliefs Signs and Symptoms

  1. Terrified of being overweight
  2. Person thinks he/she is fat despite the fact that they are extremely underweight
  3. Thoughts are constantly about food, calories, fat content and nutritional information
  4. Thinks a standard size meal is way too much food
  5. Feels guilty after eating
  6. Desires to be thinner (even if underweight)
  7. Feels pressured to eat by others.

Am I Anorexic? Conclusion

Anorexia nervosa is a deadly disease and should be taken seriously. If any of these issues are occurring for an individual, that person needs to seek professional help. The entire checklist does not have to be ‘checked off’ in order for a person to receive or need help. Though this disorder brings about serious complications, it is 100% curable through time, therapy, and proper nourishment.

NB: The content for this article is for information purposes only and is in no way intended to replace sound medical advice or opinion.


1. Based on the diagnostic tool called the EAT-26 (Eating Attitude Test)