Physical Exam for Eating Disorders
During a physical exam for Reference eating disorders Opens New Window, the doctor will:
- Check your weight and compare it with the expected weight for someone of the same height and age. In general, a Reference body mass index (BMI) Opens New Window that is less than 18.5 in adults is considered underweight.Reference 1
- Check your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. Many people who have eating disorders have a sudden drop in blood pressure when they sit up from a lying position or stand up from a sitting position.
- Listen to your heart and lungs.
- Examine your belly for anything unusual.
- Check your hands and feet for swelling.
Other physical signs include:Reference 2
- Dry skin.
- Irregular heartbeats (Reference arrhythmia Opens New Window).
- Thinning or dull hair on the head and unexpected fine hair growth on the body.
- Low blood pressure (especially when you stand up).
Because vomiting is often part of an eating disorder, the doctor may also check for:Reference 3
- Inflamed or diseased teeth and gums or erosion of Reference tooth enamel Opens New Window.
- Swollen glands in the neck.
- Broken blood vessels in the eyes.
- Teeth marks on the back of the hands or calluses on the knuckles from self-induced vomiting.
- Sores in the mouth.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 11, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference W. Stewart Agras, MD, FRCPC - Psychiatry