Here are the usual suspects:
- Bloating (‘huge’ stomach), edema (water retention), swelling.
- Gastric and intestinal problems: gas, diarrhea, constipation, undigested food, abdominal pain, acid reflux, indigestion.
- Extreme fatigue: sleeping much more than usual, loss of energy.
- Brain fog: hard to remember or follow trains of thought.
- Skin sensations: tingling, burning, prickliness, numbness, itching, rashes.
- Anxiety, paranoia, fear, depression, crying a lot.
- Hair falling out, dry and flaky skin, nail breakage.
- Orange colored skin (particularly palms of hands).
- Dizziness/heart beat issues: slow resting heart rate (bradycardia) or speeding heart rate while resting (tachycardia) or dizziness when going from lying to sitting or sitting to standing (orthostatic hypotension)*
- Cold when others are not, hot flushes, sweating and night sweats (drenching night attire and bedding).
- Aching joints, hips or leg pain.
- Fidgeting, restlessness, general agitation.
- Aching muscles (as if you had completed a strenuous workout).
* Damage to the heart muscle due to restrictive eating behaviors is reversible. However, if you have any of these symptoms at the start of recovery, then do not reintroduce exercise until cleared to do so by your medical advisor.
If any symptom causes you any concern, appears to be steadily worsening despite continued re-feeding and rest, or does not seem to be easing steadily as the weeks progress, then consult your physician.
However, the above list is a fairly comprehensive list of the common symptoms you can experience in the early phases of recovery from a restrictive eating disorder. All these symptoms are indicative of either damage that was done while restricting and/or signs that healing is underway. All these symptoms should steadily improve throughout the recovery process.
Please remember that you should never attempt refeeding from a restrictive eating disorder without medical supervision.