National Eating Disorders Association

6 posts / 0 new
Last post

Hi, my daughter suffers from orthorexia for more than a year, and because she eats really healthy is more difficult to understand her eating disorder, but she burn all her calories doing exercise, running and any kind of work out that. She now needs to gain X pounds and her body is starting to make her feel weak. She's obsessed with what she eats, everything has to be measured and has to be healthy but we need her to understand she needs to decrease her activity and eat more and be more flexible. We already have a counselor and nutritionist but as a parent we need help in how to help her as we are the ones who spend more time with her. If you had deal with this before please give us your thoughts


Hi! Thank you for posting! We’re sorry to hear about your concerns about your daughter so we hope that you get the support you deserve here on the forums! We slightly edited your post as some details might be triggering for other members of the forum. Please take a look at our community guidelines here: You also mentioned her feeling weak so for precaution, we are providing you with a list of signs and symptoms to look out for: The following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:

  • accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury
  • become suicidal
  • confused thinking and is not making any sense
  • delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)
  • disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are
  • vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea
  • experiencing dizziness or fainting spells
  • too weak to walk or collapses
  • painful muscle spasms
  • experience pain in the lower legs
  • complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing
  • blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit
  • a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16
  • an irregular heartbeat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)
  • cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature of less than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • experience dizziness, nausea, fever
  • wounds/cuts heal slowly
  • feel tingling in the hands or feet
  • blurred vision

If you experience anything above, we highly recommend seeking help from a medical professional as soon as possible. Seek medical help soon on an outpatient basis if you:

  • have significant heartburn and/or a burning sensation after eating
  • have other gastrointestinal concerns
  • have high blood pressure
  • struggle with significant joint or muscle pain
  • have difficulty sleeping (falling and/or remaining asleep)
  • struggle with fatigue, sudden weight gain, and/or hair loss
  • have frequent urination or unquenchable thirst
  • have gained and lost significant weight repeatedly
  • have gained significant weight in a short period of time
  • struggle with chronic diarrhea or constipation

If you’re looking for resources, please feel free to contact the Helpline at (800) 931-2237. The Helpline is open Mondays-Thursdays 9AM-9PM EST and Fridays 9AM-5PM EST. During these hours you can chat with us by clicking the chat now option at the top right hand corner!

Dealing with Orthorexia

Thank you, we already got medical help and gladly all her levels and tests are ok, so we want to help her before she can be in real danger.


you would consider a higher level of care, like inpatient or residential? Sometimes ED sufferers are worse than you think as a lot of things happening inside the brain and body and medical stabilization is needed, even if lab works are good.

ORTHOREXIA induced by other illness

My son was hospitalized twice ~ 4 years ago while in college. At first, doctors thought it was appendix causing his stomach issues, ( which was removed) then the second time, doctors thought he might have Crohn's disease. After scoping his esophagus, lower intestine and middle intestine, they could not find any evidence of of the disease. All they noted was that he had high eosinophils and a " swollen" intestine and gave him medicine for an overactive gut. At first, my son cut out red meat. Then he decided to go vegetarian, then vegan, then he cut out anything with a certain ingredient, and most recently another ingredient .He obsessively check labels for ingredients and expiration dates and declares most everything not suitable. "I ate that recently & it made my stomach hurt so I don't eat it any more". He had a fantastic job ~ 2hr away so he doesn't live at home. When he comes home, it is stressful to make foods that he will eat. He travels ( or did before COVID) for his job a few times a year & eating out is very difficult. I think he has developed Orthorexia. Has anyone found Orthorexia induced by other issues. How do you help your child-especially when they do not live at home?


Hi mellengal, we are sorry to hear about these struggles your son has been facing. We’re glad you’re reaching out to the forums about supporting him. The NEDA Helpline can help put you in contact with treatment and support options available to your son, and we recommend reaching out. You can reach the Helpline at 800.931.2237 M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET or you can chat with us online M-Th 9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. We hope it can be of help. Wishing you, your son and your family well, and please take care.

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.