How to Recognize an Eating Disorder

Dying To Be Thin

Dying To Be Thin (Photo credit: Tayrawr Fortune)

I talk about food a lot, and I want people to be aware that food is a nutrient it is the fuel to our engine and it should be something that we co-exist with. Not everyone has a healthy relationship with food and I would like to share with you definitions,causes and signs and symptoms.

Eating disorders are a group of conditions that are caused by an unhealthy relationship with food and about 4 percent of the world suffers from them. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/02/22/national-eating-disorders-awareness-week-2010/ 

 There are three main types of eating disorders

Anorexia nervosa. This is characterized by weight loss usually due to excessive dieting by consuming very few calories a day and/or excessive exercise, sometimes to the point of starvation. Someone with anorexia can never be thin enough and continues to see themselves as “fat” or “not skinny enough”

    Symptoms and behaviours of someone suffering from anorexia

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Wearing loose, bulky clothes to hide weight loss
  • Preoccupation with food, dieting, counting calories, etc.
  • Refusal to eat certain foods, such as carbs or fats
  • Avoiding mealtimes or eating in front of others
  • Preparing elaborate meals for others but refusing to eat them
  • Exercising excessively
  • Making comments about being “fat” and insinuating that they are not to skinny when confronted
  • Complaining about constipation or stomach pain

It might take a while to notice a loved one suffering from anorexia so don’t be upset with yourself if you missed some of the signs. It may begin as an interest in dieting, and once they have the “taste” for control and see the weight come off the disorder takes hold.  If left untreated, anorexia can lead to serious complications. Ten percent of people with severe anorexia will die from it,so if you suspects anorexia its important to see a DR right away. Once treatment begins most people with anorexia will gain back the weight, and the physical problems they developed as a result of the anorexia will get better, they might also need to see a psychiatrist to deal with the disorder to prevent it from reoccurring.

Bulimia nervosa. Bulimia is usually marked by cycles of extreme overeating (bingeing), followed by purging or other behaviors to compensate for the overeating such as over exercise. It is also associated with feelings of loss of control about eating and feelings of happiness when eating and guilt when it’s over.

     The following are common signs of bulimia:

  • Evidence of binge eating, disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time, or finding lots of empty food wrappers or containers hidden in odd places
  • Evidence of purging, including trips to the bathroom after meals, sounds or smells of vomiting
  • Exercising excessively
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide the body
  • Complaining about being “fat”
  • Using gum, mouthwash, or mints excessively
  • Loss or thinning of hair from lack of nutrients.

Untreated Bulimia can result in long-term health problems such as abnormal heart rhythms(from the vomiting) gastroesophageal reflux disease, and kidney problems. It can be treated successfully through therapy and/or antidepressants.

Binge eating disorder. Is regular episodes of extreme overeating and feelings of loss of control about eating. Binge eating disorder is almost as common in men as it is in women as well as a tendency to affect older people.he other disorders. It also affects older people more than teens and young adults.

      Common signs of binge eating disorder include:

  • Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time, or finding lots of empty food wrappers or containers
  • Hoarding food, or hiding large quantities of food in strange places
  • Wearing baggy clothes to hide the body
  • Skipping meals or avoiding eating in front of others
  • Constantly dieting, but rarely losing weight

Binge eating can lead to obesity, it can also have serious health consequences if left untreated. Because depression often goes hand in hand with binge eating, antidepressants and therapy may also help.

Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms and if you find that yourself or someone ou love suffers from an eating disorder do what you can’t to get them help. Eating disorders are treatable and the quicker you recognize the signs and get help the faster the recovery.

P.S. I am not a Doctor this is compilied research. See links below for sources.

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2 responses to “How to Recognize an Eating Disorder

  1. glowingoasispilates

    I am glad you posted this. These are extremely serious. I was hospitalized for anorexia and missed half my junior year of high school. Awful time. Now I teach workshops preventing them!

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