Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are described as mental and physical illnesses because of the complexity with food eating, exercising and body image. It’s stated that these disorders impact approximately 20 million women and 10 million men in the U.S. alone. There are known to be many types of eating disorders but the three most common heard about are Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. These disorders are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating or eating related behavior. Eating disorders are complicated and they vary from person to person. Eating disorder can manifest in many ways and are known to be complicated disorders that have a psychological, physical and sociological health issues. Eating disorders are not easily determined because you can’t determine whether someone is struggling with it but the symptoms can present as warning signs. A brain and body that is starved can not function optimally. There are numerous physical signs of an eating disorder. With all of the physical, emotional and behavioral of eating disorder, the long term consequences can be severe. What is known to cause these disorders are genetic, environmental and sociological factors. Receiving the proper treatment is important. The treatments can range from inpatient at a medical facility down to outpatient. There are treatment centers that also help struggling individuals to determine the appropriate level of care.

From my personal experience, I too have had and still do go through battles with my weight. I know and encounter so many people with the same issue. It doesn’t matter whether it’s women, men, age, race etc.. These disorders can affect anyone. There are people who go to the gym and they try to eat healthy. Following fad diets and eliminating necessary nutrients. It’s a cycle. Yet we live in a society of people who are overweight and under nourished. Inundated with diseases and addicted to medications for life support and depending on them to stabilize the body. Seems like the end all answer for every ailment. I do believe that a lot of these disorders come from our environment. For starters, our foods are poisoned which makes it impossible to stay healthy. Secondly, we are a society stuck on body image. Men feel the need to be bulked. For women, it tends to be a bit more difficult because if we don’t look like a stick thin model, then we think we’re not desired. How sad that this has become so embedded in our society that it has left a stigma. This is especially difficult for adolescents who are so impressionable and stuck on body images.

Food is important and so are the nutrients that we obtain from them. We need nutrients for survival purposes. The long term consequences of malnutrition can be severe. We also need to be conscience of not over eating because that too has severe impact on our bodies. There’s so much information about eating disorders. If you suffer from food disorders or know someone that does, please seek the proper help. Below is a list of the physical signs an individual is struggling with eating disorder beliefs or behavior.

Beliefs/patterns/choices that indicate a focus on weight loss, dieting, food rules or eating patterns.

Extreme mood swings.

Difficulty

Checking in the mirror often.

Withdrawing from others, decreased socializing, especially when food is involved.

Presenting as hyper-focused on weight, food, calories, nutritional content of food.

Eating alone or hiding food.

Skipping meals.

Intense fear of gaining weight.

Distorted body image.

Weight fluctuation (both up and down) that occur rapidly.

Severe constipation.

Low blood pressure.

Slow breathing and pulse.

Lethargy, sluggishness and always feeling tired.

Brittle hair and nails

Dry, yellowish skin.

Loss of menstrual cycle.

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