Eating Disorders

Many people hold the belief that eating disorders are lifestyle choices that others make, but this is far from the truth if the real causes are analysed. Simply defined, eating disorders lead to severe disturbances that alter a person’s eating behaviors. Some of the most common eating disorders include anorexia, nervosa and bulimia. To shine some light into this topic, it is vital to have a look at each and how one can handle such an illness.

Anorexia nervosa

People who suffer from anorexia nervosa believe they are overweight even when that is not the case. Such people weigh themselves often and will alter their eating habits by reducing the amount of food they take in a day. Some of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa include extremely restricted eating and emaciation resulting from lack of sufficient supply of important nutrients. The patients may also have a distorted body image and low self-esteem.

Bulimia nervosa

Those who suffer from bulimia nervosa display recurrent episodes of taking huge amounts of food and lack the ability to control the episodes. This is followed by a behavior that tends to control over-eating where the patient may choose forced vomiting, use of laxatives, or fasting. Unlike in the case of anorexia, people who suffer from bulimia are more likely to maintain relatively normal body weight.

Symptoms include inflamed and sore throat, electrolyte imbalance, distress of the intestines, and severe dehydration among other symptoms that can be revealed after lab tests. It is necessary to immediately see a medical professional if any of these symptoms are noted to avoid the severe effects of the disorder.

Binge-eating disorder

Binge disorder makes someone to lose control over his/her eating habits. Unlike what those suffering from bulimia do, people suffering from binge-eating disorder will not purge or engage in excessive exercise, and this leads to obesity in most cases.

Some of the most common symptoms of the binge-eating disorder include eating large amounts of food, even when one is not hungry. Other signs include eating fast and taking food until one gets uncomfortably full. Shame and distress are also symptoms that show up later among individuals suffering from the binge-eating disorder.

Risk factors

Most cases of eating disorders have been recorded during teen years or during young adulthood. Eating disorders affect both genders, but the rate is higher among women (two and a half times more likely than men). According to researchers, eating disorders are caused by genetic, psychological and biological interactions and this problem could run in families through DNA transfer.

If you would like to talk to someone about available treatments for eating disorders,please get in touch with us at the Health Psychology Clinic by telephone at 020 8144 3041 or book online by clicking below.