Eating disorders affect women and men all over the world. Generally people with eating disorders tend to care way too much about the way they look, their weight, and they are self conscious of what others think of them. The two most common eating disorders are bulimia and anorexia. Bulimia is where a person may be at a healthy weight but tend to make themselves throw up or use laxatives to get rid of food they just ate. This is a little bit harder to notice in a person as they are not overly skinny. A person with anorexia looks under weight and still feels as if they are overweight and limit the foods they eat and exercise way too much. Both kinds of eating disorders can go on for years before it is made aware and if left untreated can lead to serious bodily harm, even death.
Dangers of Eating Disorders
Many dangers are associated with an eating disorder. Your body will try to protect itself by going into “slow mode” and monthly menstrual cycles may stop, dehydration will occur, breathing will slow down, and your skin can turn a yellowish color. In binging cases you can rupture your stomach. Your body needs nutrients to live and a lot of harm is being done to your internal organs by neglecting your body. Many of the issues associated with Bulimia, Anorexia, and Binging can be reversed if caught in time and the body is returned to a healthy state once again.
Eating Disorder Warning Signs
- Extreme weight fluctuation. A person who cannot establish or maintain a consistent body weight.
- A person who rarely eats or eats too much and feels guilty when they do.
- Uses food as a crutch, they eat because they have problems, are stressed out, or emotional.
- Hides from others when eating. Refuse to eat in public.
- Make yourself throw up, uses laxatives, or water pills.
- Wears bigger clothing to hide your body.
- Very defensive when asked about food or body weight.
- Poor self esteem, constantly feels that they are overweight or underweight.
- Excessively working out.
As mentioned above, this can vary from person to person. If for any reason you can answer yes to one of the points listed above, you should definitely seek professional help. Many people do not realize that there is a lot of psychology involved as many people who have eating disorders also have obsessive compulsive disorders. Treatment must start there before any real progress can be made.
Seeking Help for an Eating Disorder
Each year there are millions of young people who struggle with an eating disorder and over 90% of them are young teenage girls or young women who feel the need to be more fit and skinny. Most do not realize that they are putting themselves at risk for severe bodily harm including cardiac arrest. Any many others are in denial and refuse to seek help. If you or someone you know fits the description outlined above you are encouraged to seek help from a counselor or doctor. Please use this article as a guide only and any questions regarding eating disorders should be directed towards your physician.