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Eating Disorders – Types, Causes, Symptoms, Complications and Treatment

 Eating Disorders – Everything You Must Know

Eating disorders are specific psychological problems and these are characterized by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behavior. Those affected person, may focus excessively on their weight and shape. All this leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health. 

Causes

Eating disorders are caused by family history of eating disorders,  depression or substance misuse, being criticised for their eating habits, body shape or weight, being overly concerned with being slim, obsessive personality, an anxiety disorder, low self-esteem or being a perfectionist are main reasons. 

Other causes and reasons for eating problems includes sexual or emotional abuse or the death of someone special, Difficult relationships with family members or friends, stressful situations, for example problems at work, school or university etc. 

Eating Disorders

Types

1. Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is a common type of eating disorder. The affected person have Inadequate food intake leading to a weight that is clearly too low is the main symptom of this disorder. Main symptoms includes Intense fear of weight gain, obsession with weight and express persistent behavior to prevent weight gain. Patients with this problems shows Self-esteem overly related to body image.

They have great Inability to appreciate the severity of the situation. If the Anorexia Nervosa is Binge-Eating/Purging Type, then it will involves binge eating and/or purging behaviors during the last three months.. Those who have Restricting Type does not involve binge eating or purging.

2. Binge Eating Disorder

Binge-Eating disorder is another most common type of eating disorder in which the person may experience Frequent episodes of consuming very large amounts of food. The main difference is that it occurs without behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting. Affected patient shows A feeling of being out of control during the binge eating episodes.

After that, they have Feelings of strong shame or guilt regarding the binge eating. Main Indications that the binge eating is out of control, such as eating when not hungry, eating to the point of discomfort, or eating alone because of shame about the behavior.

3. Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is another type of eating disorder in which the affected person may shows Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food. This is also followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting. Affected person have a A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes. Usually those persons have a Self-esteem overly related to body image.

4. Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder

This is Described as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) DSM-IV). In which the affected person has a A feeding or eating disorder that causes significant distress or impairment. Main difference is that, it does not meet the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder. 

Examples include: Atypical anorexia nervosa (weight is not below normal), Bulimia nervosa (with less frequent behaviors) and Binge-eating disorder (with less frequent occurrences). Other examples are Purging disorder (purging without binge eating) and Night eating syndrome (excessive nighttime food consumption). 

Additional Eating and Feeding Disorders

Other most commonly found additional eating and feeding disorders includes Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, Pica, Rumination Disorder and Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder. 

Eating Disorders

Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Usually it is very difficult to realize that a loved one or friend has developed an eating disorder. You can check for any of the symptoms to identify such a disorder early like – missing meals, complaining of being fat, even though they have a normal weight or less, repeatedly weighing themselves and looking at themselves in the mirror.

Those who have affected may making repeated claims that they have already eaten, cooking big or complicated meals for other people and not eating none of the items by them, only eating certain low-calorie foods in your presence, feeling uncomfortable or refusing to eat in public places like hotels, using websites and searching for food- anorexia – weight loss tips etc.

Complications

  • Deficiencies like Hypomagnesemia, Hypolcalcemia
  • Dehydration, Malnutrition
  • Metabolic Alkalosis, metabolic acidosis
  • Low Blood Pressure, Low Heart Rate
  • Heart Failure, Esophageal Damage
  • Impacted bowels, Osteoporosis
  • Heart Arrhythmia, Dental Problems

Treatment

Any kind of eating disorder must be treated well. Otherwise this have a negative impact on someone’s job or schoolwork, and can disrupt relationships with family members and friends. Treatment includes monitoring a person’s physical health while helping them to deal with the underlying psychological causes.

Treatment of eating disorders can be done with various methods. Use self-help manuals and books, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy, dietary counselling, psycho dynamic therapy, family therapy and medications like antidepressants can be used to treat this problems effectively. 

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