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Eating Disorders Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are certain conditions wherein the person becomes extremely preoccupied with weight and food. Few of its common type include binge-eating disorder, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Clearly, such disorders are very serious for the health and may cause serious complications. Women are more likely to develop eating disorders as compared to men. Usually, its treatment involves medications, family counseling, nutritional education, psychotherapy and hospitalization.

What are the symptoms of eating disorders?

The symptoms of eating disorders tend to vary with every specific type:

  • Anorexia nervosa: individuals with anorexia nervosa are obsessed with being thin and food, symptoms include:
  1. Irritability.
  2. Flat mood.
  3. Excessive exercise.
  4. Distorted self-image.
  5. Extreme worry of gaining body weight.
  6. Refusal to eat.
  7. Constipation.
  8. Trouble sleeping.
  9. Thin appearance.
  10. Social withdrawal.
  11. Fear to eat in front of people.
  12. Dehydration.
  13. Low blood pressure.
  14. Dry skin.
  15. Abdominal pain.
  16. Menstrual irregularities.
  17. Food preoccupation.
  • Binge-eating disorder: individual with binge-eating disorder excessively consume food without being worried of weight. He or she may consume even after being uncomfortably full. Symptoms include:
  1. Consuming to a point of pain or discomfort.
  2. Consuming faster in binge episodes.
  3. Consume a lot more food in binge episode comparatively to a normal snack or meal.
  4. A feeling that the behavior is not in your control.
  5. Feeling upset, disgusted or depressed over the consumed amount of food.
  6. Eating alone.
  • Bulimia nervosa: Bulimia nervosa is a life-threatening, serious eating disorder which is described as binge eating followed by purging. More specifically, individual with bulimia consume heavy meals in a limited time period and then attempt to get rid of the consumed food usually by vomiting, excessive exercise, taking a stimulant, diuretic or laxative due to great concern about their body weight. Its symptoms include:
  1. Consuming excessive food until you feel pain or discomfort.
  2. Preoccupied with the weight and body shape.
  3. Always fear to gain weight.
  4. Forcing to excessively exercise and vomit.
  5. Using herbal products or dietary supplements for losing weight.
  6. Believe that the eating behavior is impossible to control.
  7. Misusing enemas, diuretics or laxatives after eating.

What causes eating disorders?

What actually triggers eating disorders tend to be unknown till date. However, the doctors believe the following factors to contribute:

  • Biological: If someone in your family such as parents or sibling has eating disorder, then you have increasing chances to develop eating disorder as well.
  • Emotional and psychological heath: majority sufferers of eating disorders have reported emotional and psychological problems including troubled relationship, impulsive behavior, low self-esteem that proves a link in contributing eating disorders.

What are the risk factors of eating disorders?

You are more likely to develop eating disorder in case:

  • You are a female.
  • Are a teenager or in early twenties.
  • Have any emotional disorder.
  • If someone in your family has eating disorder.
  • If you are sports person or involve in artistic activities.

What are the possible complications of eating disorders?

Potential complications include:

  • Multiple organ failure.
  • Heart problems.
  • Death.
  • Suicidal behavior or thoughts.
  • Depression.
  • Menstruation absence.
  • Stunted growth.
  • Bone loss.
  • Low or high blood pressure.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Digestive problems.

How are eating disorders diagnosed?

In order to diagnose eating disorders, the doctor need complete details regarding the patient’s eating habits, behavior, beliefs and symptoms. He may perform the following tests and exams in order to verify:

  • Laboratory tests.
  • Physical exam.

How are eating disorders treated?

Its treatment depends upon the type of disorder a person is suffering from. However, typically it includes medication, nutrition education and psychotherapy. Immediate trip to the nearest hospital is needed in case the person’s life is in danger.


By : Natural Health News

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