Eating Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Prevention

An unhealthy eating pattern for a long time is the biggest sign of eating disorders. Eating disorders can be overeating or not eating at all. You need to know about eating disorders because it is a mental crisis that needs medical help and psychological support.   

Eating disorders have a huge effect on your health, and persistent overeating or undereating can lead to several health issues like cardiovascular disorders.

Advising to eat less or eat more cannot cure this condition. Eating disorder is not an easier condition you can get out of any time. At some point, the condition could become hard to change or overcome. 

When people become more and more insecure about their body image, that will lead them to make decisions like having lower-calorie, which goes far below the daily amount of calories an average person should eat. 

You should give enough attention to unhealthy eating habits if you notice it in your eating pattern or people closer to you for a fairly long time. 

Obsession over body image or foods will lead the patient to a mental state where they starve themselves for days or binge-eat to a level they feel like vomiting or can’t walk. 

 People with this mental health issue need strong mental support from their friends and family. But, most importantly, seek medical help as fast as possible. 

Studies show that about 9% of people in the US suffer from eating disorders. This psychological condition is spreading faster among teenagers, so try to be aware of the situation and prevent it. 

Anorexia Nervosa

When people are highly insecure about their weight or body shape, they tend to cut out a significant amount of calories or exercise continuously for hours. 

Anorexia can also be a symptom of Obsessive-compulsive disorder. This mental disorder is prevalent in women more than men. 

Extreme activities like trying to vomit after a meal to prevent weight gain or an unhealthy diet, dependency on diet aids are seen in an anorexic person. 

Bulimia Nervosa

Normally a person should eat at least three standard meals within fixed intervals, preferably 2-3 times of small and healthy snacking. 

However, people with Bulimia nervosa tend to binge eat without any control. Sometimes, they do not eat for hours and then start to eat. 

Not eating for hours following overeating are out of the obsession to compensate for the high amount of food consumed earlier. 

Bulimia nervosa is a very serious psychological condition with dangerous effects on a person’s health. 

Binge-eating disorder

In binge eating disorders, people will be ashamed and guilty of overeating but do not do anything to change that and end up eating more. 

Binge eating is continuous eating without control, even after you are full. People who suffer from binge eating disorders won’t be able to stop or control eating at all but become mentally hard on themselves for overeating. 

Lack of control over eating, fast eating, and higher food intake are signs of binge eating disorder. A severe health hazard is the aftereffect of this psychological condition. 

Rumination disorder

People with rumination disorder tend to spew food from the stomach before its digest and chew it again. After chewing the spit up from the stomach, they might swallow it again or spit it out. 

This disorder is seen in infants and adults; it is important to resolve this condition from early childhood. For adults, behavior therapy is required to stop this activity.

Rumination can make a person unhealthy and underweight, and the exact cause of this condition is unknown. 

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake disorder

When people strongly restrict themselves from eating certain foods, it’s called restrictive food intake disorder. Avoiding some foods or eating very selectively will lead to severe nutrition deficiency. 

Selective or restrictive eating is not because of fear of weight gain or body image; it is one peculiar feature of Avoidant food intake disorder. 

Keep in mind that

Other types of eating syndromes can be pica, night eating syndrome, and purging syndrome. 

It is best to be careful with the eating habits of infants and teenagers. Prevention of eating disorders can begin from creating a diverse and more secure body image from young age to mindful eating, practicing slow eating, and adding a variety of healthy foods into the diet. 

However, to cure the condition, you should consult a doctor and therapist. Remember, a healthy eating pattern can help you in many ways, and unhealthy eating habits are not just about food but an obsession out of psychological reasons.  

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