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Eating Disorders

What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating Disorders describe illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.

Eating disorder may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual's well-being.

The most common forms of eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder that affects both females and males.

Eating disorder can be a result of inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual's well-being.

It may develop during any stage in life but typically appear during the teen years' or young adulthood.

Classified as a medical illness, appropriate treatment can be highly effectual for many of the specific types of eating disorders.

Although these conditions are treatable, the symptoms and consequences can be detrimental and deadly if not addressed.

This kind of disorders commonly coexist with other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse, or depression.

Types of Eating Disorders

The three most common types of Eating Disorders are as follows:

  • Anorexia Nervosa

The people suffering from anorexia nervosa typically have obsessive fear of gaining weight.

Refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and an unrealistic perception of body image.

  • Bulimia Nervosa

This eating disorder is characterized by repeated binge eating followed by behaviors that comes with overeating.

It also involves forced vomiting, excessive exercise, or extreme use of laxatives or diuretics.

  • Binge Eating Disorder

Individuals who suffer from Binge Eating Disorder will frequently lose control over his or her eating.

Different from bulimia nervosa yet, episodes of binge-eating are not followed by compensatory behaviors, such as purging, fasting, or excessive exercise.

Causes of Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders are complex disorders, influenced by facet of factors, though the exact cause of eating disorders is unknown.

It is generally believed that a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental abnormalities can contribute to the development of these illnesses.

Examples of of biological factors include:

  • Irregular hormone functions
  • Genetics (the tie between eating disorders and one's genes is still being heavily researched, but we know that genetics is a part of the story).
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Examples of psychological factors include:

  • Negative body image
  • Poor self-esteem

Examples of of environmental factors that would contribute to the occurrence of eating disorders are:

  • Dysfunctional family dynamic
  • Professions and careers that promote being thin and weight loss, such as ballet and modeling
  • Oriented sports, where an emphasis is placed on maintaining a lean body for enhanced performance.

Examples include:

  • Rowing
  • Diving
  • Ballet
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Long distance running

Family and Childhood Traumas:

  • Childhood sexual abuse, severe trauma
  • Cultural and/or peer pressure among friends and co-workers
  • Stressful transitions or life changes
  • Beautiful Woman Happy to Beat Eating Disorders

Signs & Symptoms of an Eating Disorder

People suffering from an eating disorder may experience several signs and symptoms, some which are:

  • Chronic dieting despite being hazardously underweight
  • Constant weight fluctuation
  • Obsession with calories and fat contents of food
  • Engaging in ritualistic eating patterns, such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and/or hiding food
  • Continued fixation with food, recipes, or cooking; the individual may cook intricate meals for others but refrain from partaking
  • Depression or lethargic stage
  • Avoidance of social functions, family, and friends. May become isolated and withdrawn
  • Switching between periods of overeating and fasting

Treatment for an Eating Disorder

Because of the severity and complexities of these conditions

A comprehensive and professional eating disorder treatment team is often fundamental in establishing healing and recovery.

Our eating disorder treatment plans are tailored to address many people facing relapse in the restoration of their health and well-being.

If you like to talk to a specialist about which eating disorder treatment would be right for you.

Call our free confidential helpline

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