Most people do not understand eating disorders until they encounter a person that suffers from one of the various types of these disorders. An eating disorder is a condition in which the person is overly focused or compulsively focused on food and weight. Eating disorders can affect a person’s life in many ways, including the physical component. Physically, a severe eating disorder can become fatal.
There are various types of eating disorders but most people fall in one of the three categories listed below.
As stated earlier an eating disorder is an unnatural obsession with food and / or weight. It could also include body shape. In general, it is a condition in which a person eats too little or too much food. Sometimes the person begins with what is considered “normal” changes in their diet, but “normal” later becomes “excessive.” Many times a person will see himself or herself as being significantly overweight when the opposite is true.
This form of an eating disorder can have many variations but in general, it is a person that is extremely thin to the point of emaciation. These people “think” or “view” themselves as being overweight and they are obsessed with their weight and / or body shape. They engage in various forms of extreme activity such as self-induced vomiting, repeatedly weighing themselves, and eating very small portions of food. They often are in denial about their condition and have a great concern about gaining any body weight. Sometimes they also engage in very harmful actions such as excessive use of enemas or laxatives.
People with Anorexia Nervosa are in need of professional help. If their disorder is severe it could lead to permanent damage of their bodies. Some of the more serious complications of this eating disorder are organ damage, brain damage, heart damage, bone loss, and more.
People with Bulimia Nervosa often engage in a pattern of binge-eating followed by a purging of the food or calories. The purging can take the form of self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, abuse of laxatives or a combination of these or other actions. People with bulimia nervosa often maintain a normal body weight but they have a physiological fear of gaining additional weight.
As its name implies, Binge Eating Disorder is a condition in which people eat too much food. There is usually no purging of the food so these people often become obese and suffer all of the medical conditions of obese people. The most serious of these medical conditions are high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, people with this disorder also experience significant guilt and shame concerning their eating habits.
Most people with eating disorders are young girls or women. However, there appears to be an equal number of males and females affected by binge eating disorder.
If you feel that you may have an eating disorder then seek professional advice and counseling because these are treatable medical conditions. There are well-developed treatment programs available. Call our emergency urgent care should you have any questions.