Common Eating Disorders and How To Treat Them

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An eating disorder is a mental or physical illness that causes someone to restrict food intake and binge or purge on specific foods in an unhealthy way. Eating disorders are serious but treatable illnesses that can be managed with professional help. They can be life-threatening. In fact, they are considered to be one of the deadliest mental illnesses, next to opioid overdose. People who have them often experience intense feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as low self-esteem. They may believe their behavior is normal and even necessary for their health.

What You Need To Know About Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a group of mental illnesses characterized by abnormal eating habits. They are common in the USA. According to a recent study conducted by Deloitte in 2020, around 28 million Americans have experienced at least one eating disorder in their lifetime. Eating disorders can be challenging to recognize and treat because they often go unnoticed in the early stages. However, once an eating disorder has developed into a full-blown illness, you need to seek help from a medical professional as soon as possible.

An eating disorder is any condition that causes you to feel bad about your body or lose interest in it (the opposite of normal). You may experience feelings like disgust at food, exhaustion after meals, or even vomiting after indulging too much in certain foods—all signs that something isn’t right with how much food you consume each day.

What Are the Signs of an Eating Disorder?

Several signs may indicate you or someone you know has an eating disorder. These include:

Physical Signs

The most obvious sign of an eating disorder is weight loss. You may notice that your body has changed and is no longer what it used to be. Your face, arms, legs, and other parts of your body had become thinner than before this began happening—and if it’s been going on for months or even years, then it’s likely something more serious than just being “skinny.”

Emotional Signs

If someone with an eating disorder doesn’t feel like themselves anymore because their self-esteem has been affected by their weight loss, then those feelings will manifest themselves differently than someone who isn’t suffering from an eating disorder would experience them.

Some common signs of eating disorders include:

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Constipation complaints
  • Denying feeling hungry
  • Patterns of binge eating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thinning hair
  • Muscle weakness

A woman eating cookies and chips

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a psychological disorder that can be deadly. It’s characterized by low body weight, often to the point of emaciation and death. People with anorexia nervosa generally consider themselves to be overweight. Hence, they start consuming less or even removing the food by vomiting to avoid adding more weight to their body.

study from the NIH website shows that anorexia nervosa usually develops during adolescence. This is when people start focusing a lot on their physical appearance. Also, it is more common in women than in men.

To treat this disorder, you’ll need to know what causes it in the first place. This can be hard if your loved one is suffering from anorexia because they don’t always show signs of food restriction or other behaviors associated with the disease process until later stages when recovery becomes more difficult for them.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging. Purging can be done by vomiting, using laxatives, or exercising excessively. Some bulimia nervosa also engage in fasting to reduce weight.

The primary goal of treatment for bulimic individuals should be to help them learn how to manage their urges without engaging in harmful behaviors such as vomiting or bingeing/purging. You must find a doctor who understands this disorder and has experience treating it, so they can best help your loved one recover from their illness.

You can easily find a bulimia nervosa treatment plan to help manage the symptoms. However, not all programs are the same. You should look for experts who can offer you a customized bulimia treatment program tailored to your needs. The experts will consider your symptoms and circumstances to create a program that can effectively treat your condition.

Binge Eating

Binge eating is another eating disorder that is prevalent among adolescents. It is a type of disordered eating characterized by consuming large amounts of food in a short period. It’s not defined by how much you eat but rather by the psychological effects it has on your body.

For example, someone who binges may do so because they’re feeling sad or overwhelmed and want to comfort themselves with food—but they don’t necessarily feel like they can stop once they get started. This can lead to dangerous consequences like weight gain, malnutrition, depression, and anxiety disorders.

In Summary

If you’re worried about your eating habits or have a loved one struggling with an eating disorder, it’s important to get help. These problems can be hard to talk about, but you should understand the signs of an eating disorder and how to recognize them in yourself and others around you. Don’t suffer alone; talk to someone trained in helping people with mental health issues.

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