Eating Disorders and Symptoms

Eating Disorders
Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are basically defined as illnesses or conditions pertaining to a difficulty in controlling, whether insufficient or excessive, the food intake of an individual. This may be caused by problems in an individual’s physical or mental health, and may lead to complications and other even more serious problems.

Kinds Of Eating Disorders

There are many types of eating disorders, and many of them are enumerated below:

  1. Anorexia Nervosa (AN) – this kind is characterized by an obsessive fear of weight gain, or an unrealistic perception of an individual’s current weight
  2. Compulsive Overeating – As its name implies, in this kind people tend to eat more than necessary, to the extent that the individual loses self-control
  3. Bulimia Nervosa (BN) – this kind is characterized by compulsive overeating then doing things such as self-induced vomiting, excessive intake of laxatives and even excessive exercise.

Depression can cause eating disorders.
Depression can cause eating disorders.

Causes Of Eating Disorders

There are many possible reasons why people would obtain eating disorders, with the most common being stress and depression. Other causes of eating disorders are outlined below:

Biological Causes:

Some eating disorders may be hereditary.

Hormonal imbalance. Appetite and the urge to eat more are things controlled by hormones produced by the endocrine system. Hormones that can be taken note of are serotonin, leptin, and ghrelin. An imbalance in the levels of these hormones, along with other necessary ones, may induce eating disorders in an individual.

Psychological Causes

Eating disorders are problems in one’s mental health. In fact, eating disorders are simply induced as a way of coping to mental health problems. The most common cause of this is depression. When you are depressed, you look for things to make you forget your problems, and one of the best ways to forget them is indulge in the pleasure of eating, hence, you eat more than what is necessary. However in other cases, the exact opposite may happen as you may lose your appetite and not eat at all. Aside from depression, stress is also seen as one of the primary factors.

The individual’s environment can also induce eating disorders upon one’s self. Physical abuse for example, may induce psychiatric disorders which also include eating disorders. Parental influence is also one important parameter, as wrong parenting (like the absence of a fully nurturing environment) can induce psychological stress. Peer pressure (especially in teens) and social isolation also are possible causes - Did you know that there exists a pro-anorexic subculture? People here share and discuss their diet plans and tricks that allow them to achieve anorexic weights.

Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating disorders are treated very specifically, depending on what type of disorder an individual has. However, there are still common solutions to every eating disorder such as:

  • Maintaining adequate nutrition
  • Preventing excessive exercise
  • Stopping purging behaviors
  • Group or individual therapy
  • Counseling

In some cases, the individual should be hospitalized to ensure they eat enough.

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