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Diagnosis of eating disorders

2-minute read

Many people who suffer from eating disorders keep their condition a secret or won’t admit they have a problem. But it’s important to get help early.

The first step is to see a doctor, who can refer you to the services you may need for your recovery. A doctor or mental health professional will make a diagnosis. There is no single test to determine whether someone has an eating disorder, but there is a range of evaluations that lead to a diagnosis.

The tests that may be used include:

  • Physical examinations: Starving yourself can take its toll on the body, so first the doctor may want to make sure you’re physically OK. The doctor is likely to check your height, weight and vital signs (your heart rate, blood pressure, lung function and temperature). They may also check your blood and urine for other health indicators.
  • Psychological evaluations: A doctor or mental health professional may talk to you about your eating and body image. What are your habits, beliefs and behaviours? There are various questionnaires and self-assessments that you may be asked to complete.

Where to get help

Eating disorders are treatable. Visiting a doctor is the first step to recovery.

You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from the Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673.

Call Eating Disorders Victoria on 1300 550 236 or (03) 9417 6598 if you are interstate.

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Last reviewed: February 2018

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