In a society that highly values appearance, it is common for some people to be concern about their physical appearance. This is when people start dieting, but when do we know that we are having a healthy diet? A healthy diet comes from eating the correct amount of food in the correct proportion, continuously. Eating an adequate proportion of foods from the major groups will increase everyday wellbeing. This will reduce the risk of having multiple diseases in the long term.
When patients do not have a balanced diet, cannot maintain their food habits, this is when eating disorders come into play. These are diseases characterized by the appearance of serious disturbances in the daily diet of the affected patients.
A person who has an eating disorder may either started by eating small or large amounts of food. But the important aspect is that, at some point, this urges to eat more or less food spiraled out of control. Severe anguish or concern about the shape or weight of the body can also be part of an eating disorder. These symptoms that present with eating disorders often coexist with other illnesses such as substance abuse, depression or anxiety disorders. In the end, if these symptoms worsen, can lead to premature death.
Some statistics about Eating Disorders
– People with anorexia nervosa are 18 times more likely to die at a younger age. This compared to people of similar age in the general population.
– The people most at risk of suffering from an eating disorder are adolescent and young women. This group represents 90% of cases although it is not an exclusive problem for this population.
– Men and boys do not escape from these problems, they can also develop this type of disorder.
– Ethnic minorities have begun to suffer more eating disorders notably in recent years
– People with anorexia nervosa are 18% more likely to die at a younger age
What causes Eating Disorders?
Among the most common causes and some factors that predispose to developing these disorders are:
– Low self-esteem, dysfunctional relationships or cultural pressures can induce eating disorders.
– Certain traumas such as rape, abuse or the death of a loved one can cause Eating Disorders.
– The inability to express emotions, a deep feeling of helplessness or dissatisfaction
– Even genetics can play an important role when it comes to suffering from this kind of disease.
What are the most common Eating Disorders?
According to data collected by multiple researchers, most cases of anorexia begin with a weight loss diet. The problem starts when the patient cannot achieve the goals expected, that is when they start to become a true obsession. Thus, anorexia nervosa characterizes by an extreme weight loss and the incessant search for thinness. Other symptoms include the irrepressible fear of gaining weight or eating in front of others. This can lead to a distorted body image or the fear of weight gaining after following a very restricted diet.
However, some patients also resort to binge eating. This behavior the patient follows it with an exaggerated diet, a strenuous exercise routine or self-induced vomiting. Some even use laxatives, enemas, or diuretics. Other symptoms are mild anemia, muscle wasting, severe constipation, brittle hair and nails. Also, a decrease in internal body temperature which makes a person feel cold all the time or constant fatigue.
Bulimia nervosa characterizes by frequent and recurrent episodes of ingestion of extremely large amounts of food. This behavior comes with the feeling of lack of control over these episodes. These episodes the patients follow them with a behavior that seeks to compensate for that excess food. They include forced vomiting, the abuse of laxatives or a permanent fast. This eating disorder differs from anorexia in that patients tend to maintain what is considered a healthy weight. Some patients are even slightly overweight. In addition, the patients who suffer Bulimia Nervosa often keep it a secret, as it causes a feeling of indignation or shame.
A swollen throat, intestinal pain and irritation, severe dehydration, worn tooth enamel or a gastric reflux disorder are some of the symptoms that are part of the disease.
Binge eating disorder
In this case, people with this disorder lose control over what they eat. However, unlike bulimia, patients do not subsequently resort to purging, fasting, or extreme physical exercise. For this reason, the majority are clearly overweight or obese, also increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases or high blood pressure. Guilt and shame can push them into a new round of bingeing.
This disease occurs when patients have a frequent desire to drink large amounts of fluid, compulsively and without feeling particularly thirsty. In doing patients often experience a pleasant sensation. Although some expert nutritionist recommends this practice, the limit is usually two liters a day. The patients with potomania often exceed this limit. In fact, this often leads to overhydration, poor kidney function, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, or poor blood composition.
Over the past few years, orthorexia has been gaining space among the major eating disorders that affect to society. This is in part due to the influence that weight loss diets have on the individual.
Thus, orthorexia is that obsessive preoccupation with consuming only healthy foods. A behavior that often leads to social isolation, the preference of fasting over the intake of other foods or the feeling of guilt. Excluded foods include meat, fats, foods treated with pesticides, or those that contain artificial additives. The problem arises when that concern for the origin and quality of food becomes an obsession. This is a pathological behavior, behind which there are multiple psychological and social adaptation problems. People with orthorexia focus exclusively on what they eat; food is the center of his thoughts and of his life. This causes nutritional deficits that can lead to other ailments such as anemia, vitamin deficiencies or lack of energy