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What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are a combination of medical and psychiatric illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating behaviors.
There are several manifestations of improper or erratic eating habits.
It could lead to inadequate ingestion of food or excessive food intake.
Eating disorders are also accompanied by severe distress about one’s own body weight or shape.
They may typically develop and become more apparent during a person’s teenage years or young adulthood.
It may also occur at any stage in a person’s life.
There are several kinds of eating disorders.
Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Anorexia Nervosa are the most common kinds.
the condition in which a cycle of binge eating and behaviors to compensate for over-eating occurs.
Irregular behaviors to compensate may include extreme use of laxatives, excessive exercising, or forced vomiting.
disorder is characterized by extreme lack of self-control over-eating.
the third most common kind of eating disorders, is characterized by a deep and obsessive fear of gaining weight.
People who suffer from this condition do not maintain a healthy body weight because of their unrealistic perception of their own body image.
They often see themselves as overweight.
What happens to people who suffer from eating disorders?
People who suffer from eating disorders see themselves as
an object when they look in the mirror
Oftentimes, they perceive an overweight or unsatisfactory looking person and this causes severe distress about their weight or body shape.
People with eating disorder(s) are unusually obsessed with food, body image, and weight.
Their states of mind mask them from the help of skincare or beauty products
Most people who suffer from eating disorders also have other mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders.
Men and women who have Bulimia Nervosa often do their bingeing and purging cycle in secret, which creates ill-feelings of shame and guilt.
Binge eaters also experience intense feelings of guilt and embarrassment.
People with Anorexia Nervosa, on the other hand, will obsessively limit the food that they consume, even when they are obviously overweight.
These conditions can be treated, but if not properly or adequately addressed, the consequences can be deadly.
The earlier a person gets treated, the greater the likelihood of recovery.
Causes of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are complex and are caused by several factors, usually a combination of socio-cultural, psychological, biological, and environmental factors.
Socio-cultural and psychological aspects include low self-esteem and negative body image, use of food as a way of coping with negative emotions and being pressured to subscribe to cultural norms of attractiveness.
More often than not, thin models of haute couture and beauty make-overs of fashion channels can project their images to the minds of eating disorders.
Biological factors may include genetic predispositions and nutritional deficiencies.
They may also include personality styles.
Environmental factors that may contribute to eating disorders may be dysfunctional family dynamics, stressful life changes, and professions or activities that emphasize having a thin and lean body such as ballet, gymnastics, or modeling.
Effects of Eating Disorders
There are short-term and long-term effects of eating disorders.
Short-term effects may include rapid weight loss (particularly with Anorexia Nervosa), rapid weight gain (in case of Binge Eating Disorder), or cognitive dysfunctions.
Those who have Bulimia Nervosa may have gastrointestinal problems and heart conditions due to an electrolyte imbalance.
The electrolyte imbalance stems from purging by vomiting, which depletes the body’s electrolytes.
People who suffer from Binge Eating Disorder are usually obese with an increased predilection to cardiovascular disease.
Anorexia Nervosa causes multi-organ failure, brain damage, and heart difficulties.
Since the body takes in fewer calories, blood pressure and heart rate begin to drop.
Dieting, self-starvation and erratic eating results in the brain not getting the energy it needs, which leads to having difficulties concentrating and other neurological disorders.
Eating disorders may also cause skin damages because of low nutrients and fat consumptions.
No amount of face masks and beauty products will be able to rectify this situation.
It also contributes to malnutrition, anemia, and severe dehydration which leads to kidney failure.
Signs of an Eating Disorder
Watch out for the following signs or symptoms of somebody who might be suffering from an eating disorder:
-A person who is always dieting even if he or she is excessively overweight.
-A distinct change in physical appearance, particularly when it comes to weight.
-Aside from a drastic weight change, unusual facial breakouts may also occur, with the person avoiding skincare helps.
-An unnatural obsession with calories and fat contents of food
-A person who seems isolated and withdrawn as well as avoids social functions, family, and friends.
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