Eating disorders refer to serious health conditions related to continuous eating behaviors that have a negative impact on your emotions, health, and ability to perform normal life functioning. Common eating disorders are binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa.
Most disorders of eating involve excessive focusing on food, body, and shape. It leads to dangerous behaviors related to eating. These behaviors affect the ability of your body to get an appropriate amount of nutrition.
Eating disorders can harm your digestive system, teeth, mouth, heart, and bones. These disorders can cause other diseases. Eating disorders develop often in teens and young adults. They can also develop at different stages of your life.
Proper treatment helps people to return to healthy habits of eating. It can also make them able to reverse severe complications that are caused by different eating disorders.
Researchers have not yet verified the exact cause of eating disorders. Many factors are involved in causing eating disorders with other mental illnesses. These factors are given below.
Genetics And Biology
Certain genes in people enhance the risk of developing different types of eating disorders. Biological factors like the alteration of brain chemicals may play a major role in eating disorders.
Psychological And Emotional Health
People who experience eating disorders may have problems related to emotional and psychological health that contribute to these disorders. They may have perfectionism, low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and impulsive behavior.
Symptoms of eating disorders can vary depending on their types. Following are the common types of eating disorders.
The simple name of anorexia nervosa that people know is anorexia. It is a life-threatening eating disorder that includes low body weight, distorted self-perception about shape and weight, and the intense fear of weight gaining.
People with anorexia put excessive efforts to control their body shape and weight. It interferes with their life activities and health. When you have anorexia, you use different methods to lose weight. You may limit calories and do excessive exercise.
Using diet aids or laxatives and vomiting after eating are included in the symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Efforts for the reduction of weight even if you are underweight can lead to severe health-related problems. It results in deadly self-starvation sometimes.
Bulimia nervosa simply known as bulimia. It is a serious eating disorder that can prove life-threatening. You may experience purging and bingeing episodes when you have bulimia. It makes you feel that you have less control over your eating.
People try to eliminate the larger amount of food they have eaten through induced vomiting or excessive exercise. Many people with this disorder restrict their diet during the daytime. It results in more binge eating and then purging.
You eat a greater amount of food in a short time period during these episodes. After this, you may try to rid yourself of excessive calories using unhealthy ways. People may exercise too much or vomit forcefully due to intense weight gain fear, shame, and guilt.
They may also use laxatives for weight loss. You are preoccupied with your body shape and weight if you have bulimia. It is possible that you may judge yourself hardly and severely for flaws that are self-perceived. Moreover, you may be a bit overweight or have a normal weight.
You eat too much food on a regular basis if you are having a binge eating disorder. People eat more food and sometimes they eat quickly even if they are not hungry. You may eat for a long time even if you are full.
After a binge episode, you may feel disgusted, and guilty for your behavior after eating a large amount of food. But in this disorder, people do not try to lose their weight through excessive exercise or purgings like the people with anorexia and bulimia.
People eat food alone due to embarrassment to hide their bingeing. It may occur once a week. You may be obese or have a normal weight with a binge-eating disorder.
It is persistent and repeated regurgitation of food after eating. But it does not occur due to eating disorders like binge-eating disorder, anorexia or bulimia, or any other medical condition. People eat food without gagging or nausea.
In this condition, regurgitation is usually not intentional. People may swallow, rechew or spit regurgitated food.
If the person eats less amount of food to prevent this behavior or he/she spits the food then it can cause malnutrition. This condition is common in people who suffer from intellectual disabilities. The disorder can also occur in infancy.