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Eating Disorders

 Western beauty ideals favor thin, lean bodies and people with unsatisfactory relationships and low self-esteem often cultivate the desire to respond to this trend.  Eating disorders include a variety of serious psychological – physical conditions in which patients get so obsessed with eating and weight control that it interferes with their normal life activities and can even induce life-threatening problems. Young females are the most endangered social group, except for binge eating, in rare cases does it affect males. The most common types of eating disorders are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge-eating.

Risk Factors

  • emotional instabilityEating-disorders_Small
  • family history
  • prolonged dieting
  • certain professions (models, sportspeople, dancers)

Bulimia Nervosa

It is the combination of eating in excess and then forced weight loss purging through vomiting, taking laxatives and obsessed exercising even if the patient’s weight is normal.

Symptoms: eating too much then drastic fasting, constant negative body image, damaged teeth, dehydration, menstrual irregularities

Anorexia nervosa

This illness is characterized by the obsession with being thing and disgust from one’s own body because of a distorted self-image.

Symptoms: starvation, fear of gaining weight, dehydration, bad circulation, changing emotional state, anti-social behavior, unhealthy looking skin and hair, fear of eating in public.

Binge eating disorder

It is a condition in which patients experience uncontrolled desire to eat till they get sick and disgusted or guilty by their own behavior and the amount of food consumed.

Symptoms: eating fast and much more than normal (binge), eating when not hungry and after getting full.

Why Are Eating Disorders Dangerous?

Eating disorders, beyond the psychological anomalies (depression, antisocial behavior, suicidal intentions) can lead to a variety of severe complications such as:

  • tooth decay
  • kidney damage
  • heart problems and abnormal blood pressure
  • bone weakening
  • anemia
  • irregular menstrual cycle

Eating Disorder Treatment

  • After diagnosing an eating disorder treatment must target both the physical and psychological condition including medication, nutrition control and psychotherapy.
  • Medication can be anti-depressant drugs that relieve compulsive, uncontrolled behavior.
  • Nutrition and weight control helps patients acquire healthy eating habits and set up a daily eating routine in order to gain or lose weight depending on the eating disorder.
  • Psychotherapy, mostly cognitive behavioral therapy or family-based therapy, target to instil stress managing and social strategies in patients.

Successful eating disorder recovery depends on the patient’s willingness and willpower to follow the treatment plans and also on the emotional support they receive from family and friends. Eating disorder recovery is a lengthy procedure in fact sometimes it lasts for a lifetime as patients must always be careful when urges and worries occur.

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