Eating disorders are problems associated with eating behavior and feelings about foods. An eating disorder can seriously affect a person’s physical and mental health.
Different types of eating disorders
Anorexia – People with anorexia eat too little. They have an intense fear of weight gain or looking fat. These people are very strict about what they eat and how many calories they contain.
This condition may lead to undernutrition or low body weight. Low BP, irregular heartbeat, tiredness, weak bones, weakness, etc are some related health issues.
Bulimia – These people overeat anything and everything. Their portion size is very much high as compared to normal people and often they try to hide their eating and purging from others.
People with bulimia experience low BP, tiredness, weakness, and blood in vomit or stools. In addition to these, they also go through various emotional problems like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, etc.
Binge eating – These people just go on eating even when they are full, not hungry. They feel upset or guilty after binge eating. Many people with binge eating disorders eat faster than normal. They may eat alone so others don't see how much they are eating.
This may lead to weight-related health problems like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and fatty liver disease.
ARFID – People with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. These people are not interested in food or avoiding food. People with ARFID don't eat because they are turned off by the smell, taste, texture, or color of food. They may be afraid that they will choke or vomit.
ARFID may lead to health problems that stem from poor nutrition. Inadequate vitamins, minerals, and nutrition lead to poor growth and development.
What causes an eating disorder?
These factors can increase a person’s chance of having an eating disorder.
- Poor body image
- Too much focus on weight or looks
- Dieting at a young age
- Playing sports that focus on weight (gymnastics, ballet, ice skating, and wrestling)
- Having a family member with an eating disorder
- Mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or OCD
The patients can consult a doctor if they are experiencing any of these. Treatment may take time and effort. But you will get great help from experts.