Home Life & People Is Someone You Love Showing Signs Of An Eating Disorder? Here’s What You Need To Look Out For:

Is Someone You Love Showing Signs Of An Eating Disorder? Here’s What You Need To Look Out For:

8 min read

God gifts us with many things, one of them being food to nourish our bodies. However, some people develop an unhealthy relationship with food that can quickly turn into a major health issue. Eating disorders are very prevalent in today’s day and age and develop for a variety of reasons. There are many different types of eating disorders and some individuals might even suffer from more than one in their lifetime. If you or a loved one is dealing with any eating issues, take a look at the various types of eating disorders below and seek help:

Anorexia nervosa

Many people with anorexia nervosa see themselves as overweight, even when they are clearly underweight. Eating, food, and weight control become obsessions. People with anorexia nervosa typically weigh themselves repeatedly, portion food carefully, and eat very small quantities of only certain foods. Some people with anorexia nervosa also may engage in binge eating followed by extreme dieting, excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include extremely low body weight, severe food restriction, relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, intense fear of gaining weight, distorted body image and self-esteem that is heavily influenced by perceptions of body weight and shape, or a denial of the seriousness of low body weight, and lack of menstruation among girls and women.

Some who have anorexia nervosa recover with treatment after only one episode. Others get well but have relapses. Still, others have a more chronic, or long-lasting, form of anorexia nervosa, in which their health declines as they battle the illness.

Other symptoms and medical complications may develop over time, including thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis), brittle hair and nails, dry and yellowish skin, growth of fine hair all over the body (lanugo), mild anaemia, muscle wasting, weakness, severe constipation, low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse, damage to the structure and function of the heart, brain damage, multi-organ failure, a drop in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time, lethargy, sluggishness, feeling tired all the time, and infertility.

Bulimia nervosa

People with bulimia nervosa have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feel a lack of control over these episodes. This binge eating is followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors.

Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia nervosa usually maintain what is considered a healthy or normal weight, while some are slightly overweight. But like people with anorexia nervosa, they often fear of gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are intensely unhappy with their body size and shape. Usually, bulimic behavior is done secretly because it is often accompanied by feelings of disgust or shame. The binge eating and purging cycle can happen anywhere from several times a week to many times a day.

Other symptoms include a chronically inflamed and sore throat, swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw area, worn tooth enamel, and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth as a result of exposure to stomach acid, acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems, intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse, severe dehydration from purging of fluids, and electrolyte imbalance—too low or too high levels of sodium, calcium, potassium, and other minerals that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Binge-eating disorder

People with binge-eating disorder lose control over their eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge eating are not followed by compensatory behaviors like purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder often are overweight or obese. People with a binge-eating disorder who are obese are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. They also experience guilt, shame, and distress about their binge eating, which can lead to more binge eating.

Please share this information to encourage others to seek help if they fit any of these descriptions.

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