Eating Disorders: An Overview

By: skleong
Eating disorders refer to conditions whereby you have an extreme compulsion to eat or the lack of it. Eating disorders are disruptive to your physical and emotional well-being.

There are many types of eating disorders. However, the most commonly known ones are known bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder. These three conditions have different symptoms and causes and effects. Other eating disorders include hyperphagia, rumination and pica.

Anorexia nervosa is also known as a psychiatric disorder. More females are diagnosed with this condition than men. It is usually associated with the perception of your body image. When inflicted with this condition, you become obssessed with the idea of carving your body to a "perfect" shape. In order to achieve this, you adopt harsh eating habits such as voluntary starvation, excessive exercise, taking diuretic drugs, taking diet pills, etc. Eating disorders in this form have extremely unhealthy effects on the stomach, esophagus and to the entire digestive system.

Bulimia symptoms differ from anorexia but has similar psychological causes. In bulimia, the main idea behind it is to trick the body in the eating process. Binge eating disorders are a central feature of bulimia nervosa; that is when you rapidly consume an excessive amount of food.

If you have eating binges, very often you do not want others to know about your behaviour. You feel ashamed or depressed about overeating. You then undertake compensatory behaviour for overeating such as purging (induced vomiting or laxative abuse), fasting, and heavy exercising. By first eating an excessive amount of food, you get the pleasure of eating what you want without caring about the nutritional and then by vomiting it out for example, the fat and calories from the food are eliminated.

Bulimia eating disorders have two negative aspects. By vomiting, acid forms up in the stomach and esophagus which can get damaged quickly. Your body also does not receive adequate vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements from the food, since they are all purged.

Eating disorders are mostly triggered by psychological factors. In minor cases, however, they are due to intolerance to certain foods. For example, you may have a calcium eating disorder because of being lactose intolerance. The causes of your intolerance in this case may not be entirely psychological.

Eating disorders can be treated with the appropriate help and care. Do not dismiss your condition believing that they are not serious. In severe cases, eating disorders can lead to death. Seek medical attention rightaway if you suspect that you have any warning indications of this condition.
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