Support - Understanding - Change

Urgent help

Unfortunately, Isis' telephone support is not always in attendance. 

Please find the information below to assist in times of urgency if we aren't available
or would like some emergency information to be prepared.

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Phone: 13 11 14 (Australia)



Eating Disorders can be fatal – note the danger signs:


If someone displays any of the following symptoms, they must be medically assessed as soon as possible:

  •  rapid weight loss (e.g. 7 kg in 4 weeks)
  •  recent loss of greater than 10% of healthy weight
  •  increase in frequency of vomiting
  •  over exercising while very underweight
  •  dizziness, fainting or disorientation
  •  slow heart rate or chest pain
  •  rapidly increasing weakness
  •  severe muscle spasms



Medical assessment


Urgent medical assessment is available at your local hospital emergency department. 

Medical assessments are also available with GPs.   Regular medical monitoring is important to reduce harm and possible heart attacks that can be caused by electrolyte imbalances and other medical problems that caused by the eating issue behaviours and lack of adequate nutrition.

Eating Issues can be life threatening.

The following guide for outlines when it is important to seek emergency medical help.  You can call an ambulance on 000 or attend your local emergency department.  Talk to your doctor or ask for a GP referral if you have any medical conecerns.





In an emergency


A person does not have to be underweight to require emergency medical assistance for an eating disorder.

Symptoms that indicate a crisis or advanced disorder, for which you should always seek emergency medical help, include when the person:

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

If the person is admitted to hospital for any reason, you should tell the medical staff that you suspect they have an eating disorder.

Guidelines from : (PDF document - 291kb).   See the Mental Health First Aid website for more information.


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