An abnormal and unhealthy attitude of a person towards food in form of change in eating habits is known as an eating disorder.A person who is suffering from an eating disorder will focus basically on their weight and shape, which makes him adopt unhealthy choices and habits in terms of food. If not treated in time, this could bring in a negative impact on work, learning, personal relationships, and of course health; to a point of fatality.
Against popular belief, even men can suffer from eating disorders. Eating disorders are seen in teens and young adults, and even adults.Caused by combining sociological, psychological and genetic factors; main eating disorders include- Anorexia Nervosa; Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder.
Let us know in detail what exactly are these eating disorders?
Types of eating disorders
Anorexia Nervosa- Anorexia Nervosa is that type of eating disorder which makes people obsess about their weight and the food they consume. People with this disorder try obsessively to reduce their weight and figure beyond accepted healthy norms. They try to starve themselves or exercise heavily just to prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight. Also, these people eat very small quantities of certain food items. Also, there are people who while suffering from the disorder still engage themselves in binge- eating; along with extreme dieting, exercise and self induced vomiting. The disorder is characterized by:
- Extreme thinness
- Fear of gaining weight
- Restricted eating
- Lack of menstruation in women
Other symptoms which could develop over time are: osteoporosis, i.e. thinning of bones, severe constipation, yellowish skin, damage to the brain, infertility, and feeling tired all day and low blood pressure. People suffering from the problem gets fine with the treatment after one episode, whereas others still face more chronic and long lasting form of Anorexia Nervosa in which their health declines too.
Also read: Understanding Osteoporosis
Bulimia Nervosa- Bulimia is another eating disorder linked to self esteem, stress and emotional problems. It centers round the binging and purging of foods. One starts thinking about calories, dieting and several ways to get rid of food eaten. This is a hidden illness as people suffering from this disorder remain an average or just over an average of their body weight. The disorder remains unidentified for quite a long time, making you feel really ill and unhappy at times. Having bulimia means you get involved in a cycle, where you eat large amount of food or make yourself sick, cut down or starve for a few days or find any other possible way to make up the food you have eaten. Due to starving, one gets so hungry that he eats large amount of food just because his body starts craving for nourishment. Some physical symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa include:
- Stomach ache
- Dry skin
- Sore throat
- Abnormal periods
Also read: Battling Bulimia: Symptoms and Treatment
Binge eating disorder- It is characterized by compulsive eating. In binge and compulsive overeating disorder, a man feels compelled to eat when he is not that hungry and in fact he is unable to stop himself. This disorder affects more people than the other two eating disorders. The symptoms of binge eating could start in late adolescence or early adulthood. The eating session lasts for about two hours, but in some cases, people binge on and off for the whole day. Binge eaters start eating when they do not feel hungry and continue even after when they are full.
Important symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating are:
- Quickly eating off large amounts of food
- To eat normally in a group of people and then gorging while alone
- Eating even when you are full enough
- Unable to stop yourself from eating
Those of the people suffering from this disorder often feel guilty, depressed and disgust. It is quite difficult to stop binge eating; but what you may do is, simply try to develop a healthy relationship with food. The relationship would depend on meeting everyday’s nutritional needs and not emotional ones. Have healthy eating; choose healthy foods the one that gives proper vitamins and minerals to your diet.
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