Eating Disorders

Overview of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders (کھانے کی خرابی) are serious conditions that are linked with consistent eating behaviors that influence your health, emotions, and ability to function in various areas of life. The most common eating disorders observed include, anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

Most people with eating disorders focus too much on their body shape, weight, and their food which results in causing dangerous eating patterns and behaviors. These behaviors then cause hindrance in the body’s ability to get the needed nutrition and lead to various diseases.

Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Some of the symptoms and signs of eating disorders to look for include,

  • Extreme fear of weight gain or loss
  • Starvation
  • Eating too much
  • Distorted body image
  • Vomiting
  • Use of laxatives
  • Drastic weight loss or gain
  • Avoiding mealtimes or eating more than needed meals
  • Excessive Exercise
  • Constant Dieting
  • Hiding foods in strange places
  • Anxiousness and Depression

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Types of Eating Disorders

The most common eating disorders observed include,

  • Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder. In bulimia, the person suffering experiences episodes of binging and has no self-control over overeating. During the episodes, a person is observed eating too much food in very less time and then unhealthy ways are used to get rid of extra calories from the body.

  • Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most dangerous and life-threatening eating disorders. It is characterized by an intense fear of weight gain, abnormal perception of weight or shape of the body, and extreme efforts to control weight gain.

  • Binge-Eating Disorders

A lack of control over your eating can result in a binge-eating disorder where no matter how much you eat, you want to eat more. You might indulge in patterns where you eat more than you intended even when you are full. The embarrassment caused by binge-eating can cause you to eat alone or hide.

  • Avoidant Food Intake Disorder

Avoid Food Intake Disorder makes a person not meet their daily nutrition intake. This is because of the avoidance shown by the person due to several factors like color, taste, smell, and the texture of food. Food is often avoided due to some irrational fears like choking on the food.

  • Rumination Disorder

 

In this disorder, chewed food is brought up again in the mouth without gagging or feeling nauseous. This can result in causing malnutrition as the food swallowed is expelled from the mouth repeatedly.

Causes of Eating Disorders

Major causes of different types of eating disorders include,

  • Mental Health

A person who is emotionally disturbed is usually seen indulging in abnormal eating patterns and behaviors.

  • Genes

Genes do play an important role in causing eating disorders. Family history matters a lot in such cases.

  • Biological Factors

 

Other biological factors like hormone imbalance impact eating patterns and change behaviors towards food.

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Risk Factors of Eating Disorders

There are certain factors that can add to the risk of an eating disorder. These include,

  • Low-self esteem
  • Striving to be perfect
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Family history
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Stress
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Social pressures to look in a certain way
  • Poor body Image
  • Bullying
  • Being a part of a sport or profession that demands weight maintenance

Complications of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can cause a number of complications. Some of them can threaten a healthy lifestyle. The more long-lasting this disorder is, the more likely a person is to experience complications. Such as,

  • Serious hindrances in the growth
  • Problems in social relationships
  • Work and School issues
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Serious Health Problems (heart issues)
  • Suicidal Behavior
  • Death

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Prevention

Although there is no one solid way to prevent eating disorders, there are some strategies that can be used to help a person deal with unhealthy eating habits. These can be,

  • Reinforce healthy body image while sitting with your child if they are a teenager and cultivate positive body image in their minds. Avoid any sort of criticism over your body or your children. Build healthy self-esteem by building resilience that your kid can carry throughout life.
  • Talk it out with your child as they could be browsing websites that may promote such unhealthy lifestyles where anorexia is believed to be a healthy lifestyle choice.
  • Refrain from dieting in front of your child or discussing eating less in front of your kids. Make sure to eat all the meals together on a table to encourage healthy eating habits.
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Diagnosis

Eating disorders are diagnosed solely on the basis of the symptoms. There is a collaborative effort of both medical practitioner and the mental health specialist to make a proper diagnosis by conducting,

  • A Physical Exam

It is very much likely that a doctor examines the body to know the exact medical cause of eating disorders. There is a possibility that the patient has to go through several tests.

  • Psychological Assessment

 

In a psychological assessment, psychologists ask the patient about their eating patterns, feelings, and thoughts. There are sometimes written assessments also conducted to know the root cause.

Treatment of Eating Disorders | When to Consult a Doctor

It always takes a team to treat a condition like an eating disorder. A collaborative effort of a medical professional and a mental heal specialist along with a dietician can make a huge impact. These members of the team can help you in several ways. By providing,

  • Psychotherapy

A mental health specialist can help each patient according to their situation. A lot of times, cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help the patient understand distorted thinking patterns that can change emotions and behaviors.

  • Nutrition Counselling

A dietician can help design proper meal plans full of needed nutrition to improve eating habits. Some nutritionists offer proper meal preparations according to the required nutrition of each patient.

  • Medication

 

Some people suffering from eating disorders also have issues like depression and anxiety and for that, they are recommended medications. Taking anti-anxiety and anti-depressants can help a lot.

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Last updated on Monday 26/09/2022

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