From childhood, we hear that nutrition is the basis of health and longevity. And this is true, because a balanced diet is necessary for the full functioning of all body systems. However, everything in the world is useful in moderation. Sometimes people start paying too much attention to what they eat, when they do it, and how much they eat. Over time, this attitude to food makes up for most of life and can develop into a serious psychological problem.
If a person has conditions associated with a violation of food intake, doctors talk about eating disorders The publication EveryDayHealth spoke about their types, symptoms and methods of treatment.
There is an opinion that only those who abuse the diet or, on the contrary, overeat, have eating disorders. However, everything is not so simple, since weight is far from the only reason. The disorder can develop at any age, regardless of gender, body weight, education, or social background. This is what sometimes complicates the diagnosis, because people do not understand the presence of a problem and do not seek help.
Types of Eating Disorders
The most common disorders include:
Anorexia – an eating disorder that manifests itself in the formation of a misconception about the size and shape of one’s body, as well as excessive calorie counting and the fear of gaining excess weight.
bulimia – a condition characterized by frequent overeating, after which there is a need to get rid of the consumed food. To achieve the goal, people with this disorder cause vomiting or abuse diuretics and laxatives.
Compulsive overeating – the disorder is characterized by the fact that a person often does not control the amount of food consumed and overeats to the point of feeling discomfort without further purification. This often happens secretly and from total dissatisfaction with oneself or embarrassment.
Symptoms of an Eating Disorder
Since the violation can manifest itself in different ways, there is no single symptom that indicates its development. However, you should seek professional advice if you notice the following manifestations:
Solid absorption of opinions about weight, calories, weight loss, etc .;
Complete rejection of favorite products;
Eating alone for fear of being controlled;
excessive physical activity, ignoring exhaustion or injury during training;
Picky attitude to one’s own body and the invention of new shortcomings, which often do not exist;
Excessive attention to the appearance of other people;
Regular use of appetite suppressants, diuretics, laxatives, or enemas.
What causes eating disorders?
There is no definitive answer, however, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders are caused by an interplay of genetic, biological, social, psychological, and behavioral factors.
For example, a family history of an eating disorder increases the risk of its recurrence, or it can be caused by childhood psychological trauma or sexual abuse or depression.
Prevention of eating disorders
There is no single way to prevent the development of a disorder, but you can reduce the risk by observing certain rules:
Understanding the symptoms and signs of the disorder;
Refusal of rigid diets and unhealthy eating habits;
Avoiding negative attitudes towards yourself and understanding the value of your own body;
Timely request for help.
How to identify and treat eating disorders?
If you notice alarming symptoms in yourself, then you should not hesitate to go to a specialist, since timely awareness and treatment have good prognosis.
The diagnosis is established on the basis of the patient’s complaints and symptoms. To clarify, the doctor can analyze not only the general state of health in order to identify possible complications or chronic diseases, but also the psychological state.
Treatment prognosis will vary depending on the severity of the patient’s condition and the duration of the disorder. The study found that about two-thirds of women with anorexia or bulimia were able to recover from their eating disorder, with faster recovery from bulimia.
Eating disorders will be treated by general practitioners, nutritionists and psychiatrists. Possible therapies include:
Psychotherapy. This method consists in developing in the patient an approving case for himself, becoming aware of unhealthy habits and developing personal ways to deal with them.
Nutritional advice. Nutritionists can help identify possible weight and dietary problems and develop a balanced menu that will help solve problems without harming the body.
Medicine. Sometimes patients with eating disorders need medication to control excessive anxiety or unhealthy thoughts.
Hospitalization. In severe cases, serious complications resulting from the eating disorder may require hospitalization for intensive inpatient treatment.
Alternative ways. Certain techniques and practices, such as meditation, yoga, or acupuncture, can also help you calm down, combat anxiety, or reduce stress.
Negative Consequences of Eating Disorders
In fact, people with eating disorders often do not seem to be ill or can overcome the disease completely, but there are those who revert to unhealthy habits and even die.
Without prompt treatment, a person with an eating disorder can get negative health effects‘IFor example:
Irreversible loss of bone mass;
Loss of muscle mass and weakness;
Dry skin and hair loss;
violation of the menstrual cycle and decreased libido;
Dizziness and fatigue;
As you can see, an eating disorder is a complex disease that requires awareness and high-quality diagnosis. A timely change in behavior and one’s own perception of reality, as well as hard work with specialists, can give good results and return to a full and happy life.
Earlier, GLOBAL HAPPENINGS told how heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. Doctors say that the risk of developing heart disease is primarily affected by malnutrition.
I’m a journalist who covers health care news. I’ve been working in the news industry for more than 6 years. I have experience writing for print, online, and television. My work has been published by various news websites and magazines.