Eating Disorders

Posted by admin | On: Sep 29 2016

There is a commonly held view that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to an individual’s eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Eating disorders are mental disorders defined by abnormal eating habits that negatively affect a person’s physical or mental health. The very common eating disorders include Binge Eating, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Pica.

Anorexia nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. People with anorexia nervosa typically weigh themselves repeatedly, severely restrict the amount of food they eat, and eat very small quantities of only certain foods.

Symptoms include:    eat

  • Extremely restricted eating
  • Extreme thinness.
  • A relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body image, a self-esteem that is heavily influenced by perceptions of body weight and shape, or a denial of the seriousness of low body weight

Bulimia nervosa

People with bulimia nervosa have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. This binge-eating is followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia nervosa usually maintain what is considered a healthy or relatively normal weight.

Symptoms include:

  • Chronically inflamed and sore throat
  • Swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw area
  • Worn tooth enamel and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth as a result of exposure to stomach acid
  • Acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
  • Severe dehydration from purging of fluids
  • Electrolyte imbalance (too low or too high levels of sodium, calcium, potassium and other minerals) which can lead to stroke or heart attack

Binge-eating disorder

People with binge-eating disorder lose control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge-eating are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder often are overweight or obese.

Symptoms include:Untitled-1

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time
  • Eating even when you’re full or not hungry
  • Eating fast during binge episodes
  • Eating until you’re uncomfortably full
  • Eating alone or in secret to avoid embarrassment
  • Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about your eating
  • Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss

Pica

Pica is an eating disorder that involves eating items that are not typically thought of as food and that do not contain significant nutritional value.

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  • The persistent eating, over a period of at least one month, of substances that are not food and do not provide nutritional value.
  • Typical substances ingested tend to vary with age and availability.
  • They may include paper, soap, cloth, hair, string, wool, soil, chalk, talcum powder, paint, gum, metal, pebbles, charcoal, ash, clay, starch or ice.
  • Those with pica are not averse to ingesting food.
  • The eating of nonnutritive substances can be associated with another mental disorder, (e.g., intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia) or medical condition (e.g., pregnancy or iron deficiency anemia.

Women are more likely than men to have eating disorders. They usually start in the teenage years and often occur along with depression, anxiety disorders. Eating disorders can lead to heart and kidney problems and etc.

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