3 Common Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are mental disorders which involve abnormal eating habits. These abnormal eating habits are dangerous to a person’s physical, mental and emotional well being. Generally, they can occur in anyone irrespective of age or sex but women are often the victims. Eating disorders are mental illnesses that need professional attention. They are psychological problems and people who suffer from them cannot help it. There are a good number of eating disorders but I will be focusing on the three most common eating disorders and they are:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa; and
  • binge eating disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa

This has the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. People who suffer from this are usually very thin compared to other people who are of the same age and gender as them and this is due to very terrible eating habits. It usually develops in adolescencts and young adults. This disorder is usually accompanied by depression, self-harm and alcohol misuse. There are two types of anorexia and they are the restrictive type and the binge-eating type. Those who suffer from the restrictive type lose weight by fasting, dieting and excessively exercising while those who suffer from the binge-eating type lose weight by purging through vomiting, the use of laxatives and excessive exercising.

Effects

  • Brittle nails
  • Weak bones and loss of muscle
  • Thinning of hair
  • In severe cases, it could be heart, brain and organ problems.
  • It can lead to death in severe cases.

Bulimia Nervosa

It develops in adolescents and adults. People who suffer from this eat a lot of food within a short period of time and then purge afterwards by vomiting, using laxatives, exercising excessively and fasting. They usually binge on types of food they don’t eat normally. The symptoms of anorexia and bulimia are similar but people who suffer from bulimia are not underweight. Those who suffer from this look normal but they have their self-esteem is heavily influenced by how they look.

Effects

  • Tooth decay
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • It can cause a heart attack due to heavy imbalance in the levels of electrolytes.
  • Gut irritation
  • Extreme dehydration
  • Sore throat
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Bruised knuckles from recurrntly inducing vomitting.

Binge Eating Disorder

Usually, it develops in adolescents and young adults but it can develop later on. People who suffer from this eat a lot of food in secret until they become so uncomfortable even when they are not hungry. After eating, they are usually overwhelmed with shame. The symptoms are similar to that of anorexia and bulimia but people who suffer from this disorder do not purge and they become overweight as a result of this.

Effects

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke

Some other types of eating disorders include pica, rumination disorder and night eating syndrome.

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