Eating disorders are conditions which are characterized as abnormal eating habits that includes excessive or insufficient eating of food leading to disturbance or poor health of an individual. Eating disorders can occur in men and women, old and young, rich or poor and from any cultural background. Although this disorder is common among men and women, according to the studies it affects more in women in the western world and degree of westernization increases the chances of eating disorder. This disorder not only affect the physical but also the mental condition of an individual leading to depression,anxiety or other mental illness.
Types of eating disorders
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by refusal of eating food(self-starvation) due to fear of becoming obese resulting in excessive weight loss.
Complications of Anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa can lead to serious health issue such as:- Hormonal changes including reproductive, thyroid, stress and other growth hormonesHeart problemsInfertility problemsBone density lossAnaemiaLow blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulseNeurological problem
Bulimia nervosa is a disorder characterized by binge eating(uncontrollable large amount of eating food) and purging (self-induced vomiting, excessive use of laxative or excessive exercise). Binge eating can lead to serious health consequences such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases. Bulimia nervosa is more common than anorexia, and usually begins early in adolescence.
Complications of Bulimia nervosa Tooth erosion, cavities and gum problemsWater retention, swelling and abdominal probleIrregular menstrual periodsSwallowing problems while eatingIntestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
Other specified feeding or eating Disorder (OSFED)
These type of disorders are those eating disorders that does not meet anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
Factors that contribute to Eating disorder
There is no single reason that leads to eating disorder.These are complex conditions that arise from combination of long standing behavioural, biological, emotional, psychological and social factors. Research have shown that some people are more prone to develop eating disorder because of genetic reasons.
Eating disorder Treatment
Treatment for eating disorder depends completely on its type and symptoms which include medication, counselling and education.
Psychological counselling (psychotherapy) is one of the mostcrucial step in treatment for this disorder. This treatment involve meeting your psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health counselor on regular basis and discussing your eating problems and following their advices.
Nutritional education is also very important where your dietician and nutritionist help to plan your correct diet schedule (Meal planning) to develop healthy eating habits.
Medications will help also in some cases to develop healthy eating habits. Anti-depressants are the major medicines used in treatment of eating disorders and should be taken only under supervision of your doctors.
Overall if you have proper approach towards your eating habits, you can overcome this disorder by planning diet properly, eating right amount of food and at correct time.