Eating Disorders Guide (2021): Types, Symptoms, Causes and Prevention
An eating disorder is a common condition which many are not aware of.
Have you ever experienced moments where you are spending most of your day thinking about food and your body image?
If it is affecting your daily functioning and your routine, you might have an eating disorder.
Eating Disorder 101
It isn’t something to ignore.
You will probably require assistance and medical specialists to intervene as well as will need psychological advice.
According to National Eating Disorders organization in USA alone about 20 million women and 10 million men have this eating disorder at some point in their life.
These numbers are scary and they continue to escalate.
Many of these eating disorders aim at dangerous eating habits. Why they are a nuisance to the body is because they affect your body shape and nutritional intake.
In some cases they are even more troublesome as besides the digestive system they also affect the heart and teeth and mouth.
These disorders are common in teens and young adults; however they can happen in your later years too, if triggered by emotional conflicts like depression, stress or anger.
But here’s the good news- eating disorders can be treated.
You can come back to healthy eating routine and save yourself from serious complications arising.
Now we will look into the three most types of Eating Disorders:
Types of Disordered Eating
If you are facing this disorder, you will likely have concerns and anxiety of gaining weight. It is when you face a certain obsessive fear and a denial on what weight constitutes a healthy body.
There is an unrealistic vision on what is healthy. It is a condition when you will be extremely cautious of what you are putting in the mouth.
If you suffer from this condition, you will be cautious of what you put in the mouth. Despite it not being the truth, they think they are overweight. In fact they might be underweight.
It is a highly dangerous condition when your weight drops. You will have serious concerns like anorexia, brain damage, multi-organ failures as well as brain loss and infertility.
It can also lead to death if not treated timely.
This disorder is when you are involved in binge eating. It is when there is overeating involved.
This is the proceeded with forced vomiting and use of laxatives.
If you have this disorder you have a fear of weight gain. You are also extremely depressed and unhappy with your current weight and how you look.
A person suffering will always feel guilt over the condition and the purging is done hidden from others.
This condition too needs to be treated effectively to avoid a harmful state like gastrointestinal problems, severe dehydration, even heart problems.
Binge Eating Disorder
This form of condition defines having no control over your eating habits. This is different from bulimia because the eating phase isn’t followed by the compensatory acts of forceful vomiting and extreme levels of exercising.
Anyone suffering from this condition is likely obese. They indulge in guilty pleasures which are unhealthy.
People with this disorder are engulfed in deep feelings of guilt, depression, embarrassment and stress. They have a higher risk of developing medical conditions like cardiovascular disease.
This kind of disorder is one where the patient is consuming things which aren’t really food. They hold no nutritional value and a person consumes them constantly without benefit. This includes items like clay, paper, cotton etc.
This is a complex and not a very common order. It is when you re-chew; re-swallow food which isn’t completely digested on a constant level. As well as keep on spitting out food.
The food isn’t digested so it isn’t acidic. Why it occurs to some people isn’t certain but there are behavioral therapies that can help.
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
This is a disorder where you don’t meet your nutritional or energy needs. It leads to rapid weight loss and can cause health issues like nutritional deficiencies.
Causes and Complications
A number of contributing factors can be the reason, be it biological, environmental or psychological concerns.
We will now look into the most common ones which are diagnosed:
Have regular hormone functions
Genes- experts in the medical field are determining how genes play a strong role in the matter
Nutritional deficiencies play a strong role as your nutritional well-being impacts you physically and mentally
When it comes to environmental concerns, the following issues play a role in the onset of eating disorders:
- dysfunctional family unit
- Getting involved in professions and careers which aim at glamorizing being thin, like modelling
- Promoting weight loss
- Involving in aesthetically oriented sports like ballet, ices-skating, diving, rowing
Having a strong negative body image impacts your well-being
Poor self-esteem also impacts your abilities to lead a wholesome life
Having family and childhood traumas affects your body image and well-being awareness
Stressful transitions or life changes
Complications with Eating Disorder
There are various complications that come with these eating disorders. They can be also life-threatening.
If it isn’t treated properly, there are many complications and health risks you will encounter. These include:
- Depression and anxiety can set in
- Getting suicidal thoughts or behavior is triggered
- You will face problems with having a healthy development
- You can also be subjected to social and relationship problems
- Those in intense disorders will also get involved in substance use disorders
- Work and school issues can take place
- The most horrific complication that can happen is death when left untreated