Eating disorders differ from being on a diet in that eating disorders are illness where abnormal eating habits harm the individual’s physical or mental health. Eating disorders can take various forms including consuming too little or too much food. Individuals with eating disorders often decide to just eat a little less or more than usual. Learning about good nutrition and eating habits can be crucial to stopping development of eating disorders. However, the urge to under or over eat develops and becomes uncontrolled which causes loss of control over normal eating patterns.
Women are most frequently diagnosed with eating disorders, however men may suffer from eating disorders as well. Eating disorders may threaten the individuals health and, ultimately, their life. It is crucial that individuals with eating disorders seek treatment as soon as possible.
What causes eating disorders?
The exact causes of eating disorders are unknown and there may be various interlinked, factors involved. However, you may be more likely to get an eating disorder for the following reasons; If you or a member of your family has a history of eating disorders, depression, or alcohol or drug addiction, if you have been criticised for your eating habits, body shape or weight, if you are overly concerned with being skinny, and in particular when pressure from society or your job is involved (which is often seen with ballet dancers, models or athletes), if you suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, an obsessive personality, or are a perfectionist and also if you have been sexually abused.
People who have anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible by not eating enough food or exercising too much, or both. This can make them very ill because they start to starve.
They often have a distorted image of their bodies, thinking they are fat even when they are underweight. Signs and symptoms of anorexia include: if you’re under 18 and your weight and height are lower than expected, as an adult having an unusually low body mass index (BMI), missing meals, eating very little or avoiding eating foods seen as fattening, a belief you are fat, your periods stopping or do not starting (in younger girls), physical problems, such as feeling lightheaded or dizzy, hair loss or dry skin.
People who have bulimia eat large amounts of food quickly, have little or no control over eating (called binge eating), making themselves vomit, using laxatives, or doing an extreme amount of exercise after a binge to avoid putting on weight (purging), fear of putting on weight, being very critical about their weight and body shape and suffer mood changes- , feeling very tense or anxious
A binge eating disorder is when someone eats very large amounts of food in a short time, often in an out-of-control way. The main symptoms may also include: eating very fast during a binge, eating until you feel uncomfortably full, eating when you’re not hungry, eating alone or secretly and feeling depressed, guilty, ashamed or disgusted after binge eating