What comes to mind when you hear the phrase: eating disorder? Your first thoughts and images will probably be of anorexia. Emaciated, skinny girls and boys who have brought themselves to an extreme degree of exhaustion. The average person looking at them, perplexed – can’t they see themselves? They do. Just not like the people around them.
Eating disorder is always more than just an unwillingness to get fat, dislike your body. It’s a cry for help when a person, not knowing what to do, how to deal with internal or external pain, switches to their eating habits.
Types of Eating Disorders and Symptoms
Eating disorder is a disease. It refers to mental and behavioral disorders, psychogenic in nature, leading to eating disorders and, as a consequence, other health problems.
Eating in ED is disturbed, a psychological dependence occurs. The mechanism is exactly the same as with the use of psychoactive substances and alcohol. Lack of emotions or their overabundance – the person begins to “binge” or, on the contrary, to starve.
When anorexia occurs, there is a deliberate restriction from food. This causes a decrease in body weight, a fear of growing fat and a disturbance of the correct perception of the body. Young women and adolescent girls are more often at risk. Anorexia gradually leads to dystrophic and irreversible changes in the body.
Bulimia is characterized by episodes of overeating, followed by episodes of compensatory behavior. The person may starve, induce vomiting, or use laxatives. At the same time, the self-esteem of the bulimic sufferer is severely diminished. This eating behavior will be considered bulimia if repeated at least once a week, for a period of three months.
This type of ED is characterized by episodes of overeating during which the person loses control. Episodes of overeating tend to occur at short intervals, and sometimes they happen when a person is having fun, like playing online roulette real money or watching movies.
Restrictive Eating Disorder
In restrictive ED, people try not to eat or try to eat only certain things. Anything – color, smell, taste, etc. – can influence the choice or restriction.
When a person becomes picky, he or she begins to eat inedible substances. For example, chalk or earth.
This type of ED is more common in men than in women. There is an inadequate perception of one’s own body. For example, the person may feel that the body is not athletic enough, there is an overabundance of fat mass.
A person with orthorexia is obsessed with a healthy diet, paying great attention not to the quantity of food, but to its quality, which consequently leads to certain medical and social consequences.
In Mericism, there is a constant regurgitation of the food that has just been eaten. This food is chewed again, swallowed and regurgitated until the food lump is sour.
Common symptoms that are common to all types of ED are fatigue, weakness, erratic behavior, apathy, hair loss, menstrual irregularities, and erectile dysfunction. In adolescents, cognitive decline and hormonal failure are added. In children with ED there is increased anxiety, concern about the condition of their bodies, “gorging” on problems or refusal to eat.
Complications of Eating Disorders
We are what we eat. If there is a disruption in the way we eat, our food choices (and the way we relate to food), this has negative consequences. All of the body’s vital systems are affected (cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, nervous system, endocrine system, etc.).
One of the main problems is that the body does not get enough food. What does the body do in this case? It starts to eat itself, destroying muscles and internal organs. Excessive consumption of water (forced vomiting) leads to electrolyte imbalance, which negatively affects the heart. Not enough fat and cholesterol? The endocrine system starts to malfunction. If it malfunctions, it means hormonal imbalance, thyroid gland doesn’t work properly, etc.
The work of our brain depends on what we eat. The brain needs somewhere to get energy, and if it isn’t enough? That’s right – concentration is disturbed, dizziness, fainting, and breathing can occur.
Irreversible changes that can lead to death are dystrophy of the internal organs. This happens when a person loses more than half of their body weight.