What are the Most Common Eating Disorders?

by Ellern Mede Eating Disorder Treatment

Many people confuse eating disorders with strict dieting, but they are not the same thing at all. Eating disorders are caused by mental and emotional problems and cause the sufferer to experience feelings of low self-worth, which will, in turn, affect their behaviour towards everyday life and their friends and family.

Anorexia and Bulimia are two of the most common eating disorders. Potentially dangerous and life-threatening, these disorders typically appear in girls during adolescence and may be carried into adulthood. Some boys and men suffer from them; however, it is more common in women.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is characterised by an intense fear of being "fat," even if the individual suffering from it is underweight. Anorexics become obsessed with counting calories and will adopt devious behaviour to skip meals and hide food. In common with all eating disorders, Anorexics suffer from low self-esteem and tend to use the condition as a means of self-punishment.

When people starve themselves, they are not only affecting their body weight but also their overall nutritional well being. A few potential health risks for people with anorexia nervosa are dry hair and skin; severe dehydration, resulting in kidney failure; slow heart rate and low blood pressure; fainting, fatigue and weakness; and osteoporosis.

Anorexia nervosa treatment requires addressing the underlying psychological factors contributing to the disease. Often a person will be treated psychologically, medically and nutritionally. Family and a strong support group are encouraged. Each person is different, and treatment varies depending on the severity of the illness.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia has many similarities with anorexia, but in this condition, sufferers do not avoid food, they eat and then they purge. Purging means deliberately eliminating the food from the body before it has had time to be digested properly by either abusing laxatives, self-induced vomiting or exercising excessively. Bulimics weight gain tends to go from one extreme to another, which is commonly called yo-yo dieting.

There are many health problems associated with Bulimia. These are usually associated with the method the person chooses to "purge" their food. These may include inflammation or rupture of the oesophagus from frequent vomiting; tooth decay and damage from stomach acids; electrolyte imbalances; and chronic bowel problems, because of laxative abuse.

Depending on its severity, bulimia nervosa treatment can involve extensive psychological and medical counselling. Often Bulimia is connected to deeper emotional and mental dilemmas.

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Created on Sep 29th 2020 02:56. Viewed 158 times.


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