Eating Disorders: Overview & Caring Tips

According to FitDay, An eating disorder is defined as a disturbance in eating behavior patterns that endanger a person’s physical or psycho-social health.

The combined mortality rate from anorexia and bulimia is estimated at 20% of the victims over a period of years. This is the highest rate mortality for any psychiatric disturbance.

The most common forms of eating disorders include

Anorexia Nervosa

Orthorexia Nervosa,

Bulimia Nervosa, and

Binge Eating Disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa – is a disorder used to describe a person who struggles with body image distortion. Anorexics pursue thinness without regard to possible emaciation (wasting away) or malnourishment. Anorexia affects about 1% of the adolescent population which means about 1 in every 200 women. Men also suffer anorexia; the estimation is 19:1 female to male ratio. 5-10% of diagnosed eating disorders cases are men.

Orthorexia Nervosa – is described as an unhealthy obsession with healthful eating. As people become more and more aware of the effects of making healthy choices, some people take it to the extreme and become obsessed. With orthorexia, the quality of the foods consumed is more important than personal values, personal and social relationships, and career plans. Orthorexic individuals adhere to strict dietary philosophies. Unfortunately, these have the potential to leave out major food components leaving an individual with an unbalanced diet.

Bulimia Nervosa– is a disorder where sufferers binge or consume large amounts of food in a small amount of time then purge to rid the body of the food. Bulimia is a disease characterized by compulsive cycles of binging and purging (several times per day) usually accompanied by depression and other psychological disorders. Bulimia is similar to anorexia, as they both center around the intense preoccupation with weight and body size as well as dieting and food.

Binge eating – is a pattern of disordered eating which consists of episodes of uncontrollable eating. It is often associated with bulimia because of compulsive overeating. During such binges, a person rapidly consumes an excessive quantity of food. The overwhelming desire is to consume large amounts of food in short periods of time.

Individuals who suffer from bulimia nervosa usually choose high fat, caloric dense foods.

Individuals that suffer from binge eating will make healthier food choices, however; they will choose to overeat.

Eating disorders can be managed; however, the individual must realize there is a problem and seek help.

Caring Tips for individuals with eating disorders include:

Periodical checkups with medical doctor (blood work, anthropometrics)

Nutritionist or Dietitian advice (monitor food intake and diet)

Behavioral Therapy (dietary counseling and rehabilitation)

Therapist Appointments (confidential discussion)

Group Therapy (camaraderie)

Outpatient follow-ups (on the road to recovery)

There are many complications linked to the side effects of the above-mentioned eating disorders.

With proper care and follow-up,  these complications can be minimized.

If a person refuses help or continues to engage in such activities, the results may lead to death.

With proper care and follow-up, complications associated with eating disorders can be minimized.

Need medical advice or attention? Call Healthboxes on 09091111129 or 08097560000.


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