It is a common view that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice but it is actually a very serious and often fatal illness that results in severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. Not only these but also obsessions with food, body weight as well as shape may also be an indication of eating disorder. The various common eating disorders include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge-disorder.
Anorexia nervosa: it is a type of eating disorder where people having it see themselves as overweight even if they happen to be underweight. People with this type of disorder weight tend to weight themselves repeatedly and severely restricting the quantity of food they consume and eating only small quantities of certain foods. Anorexia nervosa was found to have the highest rate of mortality of any mental disorder with many dying from complications associated with starvations while others die of suicide.
Bulimia nervosa: Unlike in Anorexia nervosa, people with Bulimia nervosa have recurring and more frequent episodes of eating abnormally large quantity of food while feeling a lack of control over the episodes. The end result of this binge-eating is the forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives, fasting, excessive exercise and sometimes a combination of some of these behaviors. People with this type of disorder usually maintain a healthy and relatively normal weight compared to people with anorexia nervosa.
Binge-Eating Disorder: People with this eating disorder lose total control over their eating but unlike bulimia nervosa, the periods after binge-eating are not followed by excessive exercise, fasting or purging and this results in the obesity of people having this condition. Binge-eating disorder is the most common disorder in the US.
Signs and Symptoms
· Exceedingly restricted eating
· Unremitting pursuit of thinness
· Unwillingness to maintain a healthy weight
· Extreme fear of gaining weight
· Self-esteem that is greatly influenced by perceptions of body shape and weight.
Overtime, some more symptoms may develop and they may include:
· Brittle hairs and nails
· Brain damage
· Low blood pressure
· Slowed breathing and pulse
· Dry and yellowish skin
· Gastrointestinal disorders including Acid reflux disorder
· Worn tooth enamel as well as an increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth due to exposure to stomach acid.
· Purging of fluids which leads to severe dehydration.
· Electrolyte Imbalance which can ultimately lead to stroke or heart attack.
· Irritation due to laxative abuse and intestinal distress.
· Swollen salivary glands both in the neck and jaw area.
· Consumption of food even when full or not hungry
· Consuming an unusually large quantity of food in a specific amount of time
· Eating till you are uncomfortably full
· Eating in secret or alone to avoid embarrassment
· Going on frequent dieting and possibly without weight loss
· Having feelings of distress, shame and/or guilt about your eating
· Eating fast during binge episodes.
This is the first part of our post on Eating Disorders; we assure you that there would be an update on this topic that would focus on the risk factors associated with Eating Disorders, the treatments and therapies that can be used as well as a much more in-depth study of the different types of eating disorder.