Beware of Eating Disorder Symptoms - Excessive Dieters Warned!
Eating disorders can be referred to both
compulsive overeating or avoid eating. An individual is said to have eating
disorder when he experiences severe disturbances in eating behavior. Eating
disorders usually appear during adolescence, but one may have developed it
earlier, e.g. during childhood. This problem is gaining much concern as it
is very dangerous and will affect both physical and mental health of an
individual. The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa,
Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder (BED).
Anorexia Nervosa is potentially
life-threatening as it involved by self-starvation and excessive
weight loss, typically 15% below the ideal weight for an individual’s height
and age. Anorexics typically starve themselves to be thin as they are
usually driven by a fear of becoming overweight and a distorted body image.
They are intensively feared of being “fat” even though underweight. Anorexia
nervosa can be deadly if left untreated. The mortality rate for anorexics is
about 6% and is the highest of any mental illness, about half of those due
to suicide. It may also lead to other serious physical health problems.
Heart failure, osteoporosis, severe dehydration, kidney failure, hair loss,
muscle loss and weakness are among the medical complications which anorexics
Bulimia nervosa is a cyclical and
recurring pattern of binge eating and purging. An individual
with bulimia will compulsively over-eat, followed by compensatory behavior
such as fasting, excessive exercising and purging (e.g. self-induced
vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse) to compensate for the excessive
caloric intake. He or she may experience weight fluctuations, but seldom
experiences the low weight as in anorexia nervosa. Vomiting involved in
bulimia may cause the esophagus to rupture and severely inflamed, as well as
gastric disturbances. Erosion of tooth enamel might occur due to the stomach
acids released during frequent vomiting. Chronic irregular bowel movements
and constipation will be another side effect due to laxative abuse.
Binge Eating Disorder (also known as
Compulsive Overeating) is characterized by recurrent episodes of
binge-eating even though an individual is feeling comfortably full. However,
it does not followed by purging. Therefore, binge-eating sufferers are
always overweight or obese. People with binge-eating disorder often
experience guilt, shame and self-hatred resulted from their binge-eating
behavior. They may also feel distress which can contribute to more episodes
of compulsive overeating. Binge-eating sufferers with obesity are at higher
risk of having psychological illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and
personality disorders. They are also predisposing to various diseases,
particularly cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.
Recent study of U.S. high school students
shows that eating disorders may be contagious. Researchers found that eating
disorder symptoms such as binging, severe self-starvation, dieting,
exercising and diet pill use clustered with counties, especially among
female students. Peer pressure, information sharing and behavior modeling
among students are possible mechanisms suggested by researchers that
resulted in this phenomenon.
Eating disorder can stem from various causes,
either physically, psychologically and, sadly, intentionally. The cause for
eating disorder which resulted from weight loss is usually the psychological
causes of anorexia. Anorexics have severe anxiety over their body image and
therefore they are very concern about their body weight. They actually see
themselves as being fat even they are considered too skinny for outsiders.
It is more difficult to treat as it involves psychological treatment.
Excessive dieting may also lead to nutrients deficiency, which will resulted
in the development of anorexia as a deficiency symptom.
Warning Signs of Eating Disorders
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