Anorexia and Yellow Skin

Anorexia and Yellow Skin

Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder in which individuals tend to restrict their caloric intake and what types of food they are consuming. They may also lose weight, exercise compulsively, have a distorted body image, and find themselves unable to remain at an appropriate weight for their stature. They might also binge eat and purge by forcing themselves to throw up or misuse enemas, laxatives, and/or diuretics. 

According to evidence uncovered by psychologists and historians, anorexia nervosa may have been around for hundreds–or even thousands–of years. This disorder is most often diagnosed in adolescents, but a growing population of older adults and children have been diagnosed with the disease as well. 

Someone does not have to appear emaciated or underweight to be struggling with anorexia nervosa. In fact, individuals with larger bodies can have the disease too, although they are less likely to be diagnosed with it due to our culture’s bias against individuals with larger bodies. This is a disease that can manifest in anyone, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. 

Physical Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

One of the many physical symptoms that may come with anorexia nervosa is a person’s skin taking on a yellow tone, perhaps due to eating carrots in excess. Other signs might include: 

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor wound healing
  • Constantly feeling cold
  • Sleep issues
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms such as acid reflux or constipation
  • Lanugo, or fine hair on the body
  • Dry skin
  • dry/brittle nails
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Cold, mottled hands and feet
  • Swollen feet
  • Abnormal bloodwork results such as low counts or anemia
  • Abnormal laboratory findings such as low hormone levels, slow heart rate, low potassium
  • Impaired immune system functioning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thinning hair on one’s head
  • Dental issues such as cavities, sensitivity, enamel erosion, tooth discoloration
  • Cuts and calluses on one’s finger joints, perhaps from induced vomiting
  • Swelling around the salivary glands

Emotional and Behavior Signs of Anorexia

There are also a wide variety of behaviors and emotional signs that may suggest someone is battling anorexia nervosa. These may include:

  • Refusing to eat certain foods, that may progress into restricting against entire categories
  • Frequently commenting about feeling “fat” despite having lost weight
  • Has a preoccupation with dieting, food, weight, calories
  • Complaining about gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Overly restrained emotional expression and initiative
  • Cooking meals for others that they don’t eat themself
  • Wearing layers to stay warm or hide weight loss
  • Denial of feeling hungry
  • Has a major fear of gaining weight
  • Has a strong need to be in control
  • Has a distorted view of their body shape or weight
  • Food rituals, such as excessively chewing or eating food in a certain order
  • Making excuses to avoid meals or situations that involve food
  • Denying the seriousness of having a low body weight
  • Having an undue influence of their weight or shape on their sense of self worth
  • Has inflexible thinking
  • Feeling ineffective
  • Withdrawal from friends and usual activities
  • Worried about eating in public
  • Low spontaneity
  • Expressing the need to “burn off” any calories consumed
  • Having a rigid exercise regiment that takes precedence over fatigue, illness, injury, etc

Getting Help

The side effects of anorexia nervosa can be severe or even fatal. You can find help by calling an eating disorder hotline, finding a treatment center, or contacting us at Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists via phone (866-525-2766), email, or by filling out our contact form.

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