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From anorexia to bulimia: doctors told about the symptoms of eating disorders

Anna CherkasovaSociety
From anorexia to bulimia: doctors told about the symptoms of eating disorders

From childhood, we hear that nutrition is the basis of health and longevity. And this is true, because a balanced diet is essential for the proper functioning of all body systems. However, everything in the world is good in moderation. Sometimes people start paying too much attention to what they eat, when they eat it, and how much they eat. Over time, this attitude towards food fills a large part of life and can develop into a serious psychological problem.

If a person has conditions associated with disordered eating, doctors talk about eating disorders. The EveryDayHealth publication talked about their types, symptoms, and treatment methods.

There is a common belief that only those who abuse their diets or overeat have eating disorders. However, it's not that simple, as weight is not the only cause. The disorder can develop at any age, regardless of gender, weight, education, or social background. This is what sometimes makes it difficult to make a diagnosis, as people do not realize they have a problem and do not seek help.

Types of eating disorders

The most common disorders include:

Anorexia is an eating disorder that manifests itself in the formation of an incorrect idea of the size and shape of one's body, as well as in excessive calorie counting and fear of gaining weight.

Bulimia is a condition characterized by frequent overeating, after which there is a need to get rid of the food consumed. To achieve this goal, people with this disorder induce vomiting or abuse diuretics and laxatives.

Compulsive overeating is a disorder characterized by the fact that a person often does not control the amount of food consumed and overeats until they feel uncomfortable without further purging. This often happens secretly and out of total self-dissatisfaction or embarrassment.

Symptoms of an eating disorder

Since the disorder can manifest itself in different ways, there is no single symptom that indicates its development. However, it is worth seeking specialist advice if you notice the following symptoms:

Being completely absorbed in thoughts about weight, calories, weight loss, etc;

Complete rejection of your favorite foods;

Eating alone due to fear of control;

Excessive physical activity, ignoring exhaustion or injury during training;

Being picky about your own body and inventing new flaws that often do not exist;

Excessive attention to the appearance of other people;

Regular use of appetite suppressants, diuretics, laxatives, or enemas.

What causes eating disorders?

There is no exact answer, however, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders are caused by the interaction of genetic, biological, social, psychological, and behavioral factors.

Thus, the presence of eating disorders in the family increases the risk of its recurrence, or it can be triggered by childhood trauma or sexual abuse or depression.

Preventing eating disorders

There is no single way to prevent the development of a disorder, but you can reduce the risk by following certain rules:

Understanding the symptoms and signs of disorders;

Avoiding strict diets and unhealthy eating habits;

Avoiding negative attitudes towards yourself and understanding the value of your own talent;

Seeking help in a timely manner.

How to identify and treat eating disorders?

If you notice disturbing symptoms, you should not hesitate to see a specialist, as timely awareness and treatment have good prognoses.

The diagnosis is based on the patient's complaints and symptoms. To clarify, the doctor can analyze not only the general state of health to identify possible complications or chronic diseases, but also the psychological state.

Treatment prognoses will vary depending on the severity of the patient's condition and the duration of the disorder. A study showed that about two-thirds of women with anorexia or bulimia were able to recover from an eating disorder, with recovery from bulimia being faster.

Eating disorders will be treated by general practitioners, nutritionists, and psychiatrists. Possible therapies include:

Psychotherapy. This method consists in developing a patient's positive attitude towards himself, awareness of unhealthy habits and the development of individual methods of dealing with them.

Nutrition counseling. Nutritionists will help identify possible weight and dietary problems and develop a balanced menu that will help solve problems without harming the body.

Medications. Sometimes patients with eating disorders need medication therapy to control excessive anxiety or unhealthy thoughts.

Hospitalization. In severe cases, hospitalization for intensive inpatient treatment may be required to address serious complications that have arisen as a result of an eating disorder.

Alternative methods. Certain techniques and practices, such as meditation, yoga, or acupuncture, can also help to calm down, overcome anxiety, or reduce stress.

Negative consequences of eating disorders

In fact, people with eating disorders often do not appear ill or can completely overcome the disease, but there are those who return to unhealthy habits and even die.

Without timely treatment, a person with an eating disorder cansuffer negativehealth consequences, for example:

Irreversible bone loss;

Loss of muscle mass and weakness;

Anemia;

Dry skin and hair loss;

Slow digestion;

Menstrual irregularities and decreased libido;

Dizziness and fatigue;

Depression.

As you can see, an eating disorder is a complicated disease that requires awareness and quality diagnosis. Timely changes in behavior and one's own perception of reality, as well as persistent work with specialists, can give good results and return to a full and happy life.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told how to prevent heart attack and stroke. Doctors say that the risk of developing heart disease is primarily affected by poor nutrition.

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