It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to email@example.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
Hello, Im 14 years old. I have a problem with my body thinking that Im fat. My friends say that Im not and so does my dad. But I keep disagreeing with them. Im short, and I weight about 98 pounds. The highest that I will get is 115. But I think im fat because i dont like the way my body looks and my dad has been telling me that if i want to lose weight and be thin and skinny i have to excercize. I have been getting dizzy and not wanting to do anything and not wanting to go to school. I sometimes dont eat lunch or at home. Some days I will go the whole day with out eating. I guess its because im not hungry, im not sure. I dont want to hurt my body but I think it is to late. Could you tell me what I can do so I dont hurt myself anymore then I have. I dont get bullied or anything like that.
From your description of yourself it does sound if you have an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is the feeling that you are fat and don't want to eat as a result. Bulimia nervosa is when you actually make yourself vomit to lose weight.
Both of these are recognized medical conditions and it is very important that you speak with your parents and have them take you to see your doctor to discuss this further. Anorexia and bulimia can be very dangerous. It is likely that you have not hurt your body but you want to make sure of this and also to get some help to work at eating a healthy and normal diet.
Thanks for writing,
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP