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Here are the warning signs of an eating disorder in your teenager

Eating disorder-related hospitalizations doubled in adolescent girls during the pandemic, according to the CDC.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Nationally, health officials say they’ve never seen teen eating disorders so widespread and serious. They’re also impacting teens and kids at younger ages.

According to Trilliant Health, eating related health visits more than doubled in the past five years in teens under 17. And the CDC reports eating disorder-related hospitalizations doubled in adolescent girls during the pandemic.

Warning signs can include:

  • Significant fluctuations in weight
  • Frequently going to the bathroom after eating
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fixation on body image and counting calories

Dr. Mike Franz, senior medical director of behavioral health at Regence, said it's important to intervene early.

"Eating disorders can affect the body in very serious ways," Franz said. "It can affect the endocrine system, it can affect bone density, which can be irreversible if it's not caught sooner. Of all psychiatric disorders, other than opioid-use disorder, it is the most lethal psychiatric condition."

If you suspect your teen is suffering from an eating disorder, contact your primary care provider right away.

The state of Oregon provides a resource page that provides regional resources for the state of Oregon and the state of Washington for those who need help with eating disorders (see PDF below).

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