Unfortunately eating disorders are not as uncommon as they used to be. But what is an eating disorder and what can we do about it?
Unfortunately, in today’s society we are likely to hear the term ‘eating disorder’ far too regularly. Many people, often young, will turn to food in some form or other to try and gain some element of control in their lives and deal with emotional stresses. An eating disorder is not essentially a problem with food, but becomes a manifestation of psychological problems.
Several of the main eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating. Also known as anorexia nervosa, this disorder affects a person’s weight. More common in women, although an increasing amount of men are being diagnosed, the person has a fear of putting on weight and often has a strong misrepresentation of their own body size. They can over exercise and fail to recognise any development, have a low mood and libido, and in the case of women can experience menstrual problems.
Bulimia also focuses on a persons desire to be thin, but in this case the food habits consist of binging and then purging by both vomiting and heavy use of diuretics and laxatives. It shares many of the same features as anorexia, although people suffering are less likely to lose profuse amounts of weight making it harder to detect. It may result in digestive and kidney problems, tooth decay, irregular heartbeat and menstrual irregularities.
People that eat compulsively also take to binging on food, however, the fundamental difference being they do not falsely remove it. Such a way of life will usually lead to becoming overweight which may cause considerable health risks in its own right.