Eating Disorders: 6 Eating Disorders and Their Symptoms

Eating Disorders, Regular diet is very important for healthy living. Due to various reasons such as irregular life, aversion to food, and anemia, many people do not take food properly. However, in some cases, the reason for not being able to eat according to the correct rules is eating disorders (eating disorders) or eating disorders.

Eating disorders may seem unfamiliar to many, and some may be suffering from this disease but do not understand that it is a disease. In this article, the causes of eating disorders or eating disorders, what are the types of eating disorders, what are the symptoms and treatment. The methodology is discussed in detail in (Petre, 2022).

What are eating disorders?

Although related to eating, it is primarily a mental illness. The eating problem of the patient suffering from this disease is not due to any physical illness but due to some mental problems, the patient is irregular in eating.
Affected patients usually never consider themselves abnormal. But the sad thing is that if proper treatment is not taken for this disease, it can cause serious damage to the body and even cause premature death.

Causes of eating disorders?

One of the main causes of eating disorders is genetics. If a parent or sibling has the disease, they have a higher risk of developing the disease.

Eating disorders can also be caused by an abnormal desire to present oneself as perfect, the influence of social and peer criticism, and the fear of looking ugly and being judged by others. However, research exists to find clear causes of eating disorders.

What are the symptoms of an eating disorder?

Symptoms vary according to the type and severity of the eating disorder. However, the patient’s hypersensitivity to food and body weight is the most common symptom of this disease. The physical and mental symptoms that can be seen in patients suffering from eating disorders are:

Mental Symptoms:

  • The focus of the patient’s thinking is body weight, food, calories, fat, diet, etc
  • The body is restless due to the intense fear of gaining weight
  • Making up reasons why they don’t want to eat while consuming food
  • There is always an interest in eating low-calorie foods
  • Eating non-food items
  • The feeling of remorse after eating
  • Does not want to eat in public
  • Ignoring hunger
  • Check body weight frequently
  • Exercising excessively to control body weight
  • Cannot concentrate on any work
  • Physical symptoms:
  • Loss of body weight
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling weak and tired
  • Sleep problems are seen
  • Dry skin
  • Nails become thinner
  • Hair loss
  • Wounds do not heal easily
  • Immunity decreases
  • Women do not have periods

In addition, through blood tests, anemia, hormonal imbalance in the body, potassium deficiency in the blood and decreased blood cells can be seen. However, it cannot be confirmed that the disease has occurred only by looking at the symptoms. Rather, if the mentioned symptoms appear, the diagnosis should be made by resorting to a psychiatrist.

Eating Disorders

Type of Eating Disorder

There are several types of eating disorders, of which 6 notable ones are briefly discussed below.

Anorexia nervosa

The most common type of eating disorder is anorexia nervosa, which usually occurs in teenagers. Girls are more prone to this problem than boys.

A patient with anorexia nervosa believes that he is overweight and therefore craves or avoids eating very low-calorie foods and frequently checks his body weight.

Regardless of whether the body weight is normal or underweight, this disease is not diagnosed only depending on the weight. Rather, eating and weight-centered abnormal behavior are the main indicators of this disease.

If you suffer from anorexia nervosa for a long time, the body will be seriously damaged. Damage to hair, skin, and nails occurs especially with loss of bone density. Also in women, there is no period, infertility problems in both men and women, and severe cases the vital organs stop functioning and the patient may die prematurely.

Bulimia Nervosa

Patients with bulimia nervosa uncontrollably consume large amounts of food in a short period when food is presented to them. Later regrets this action and behaves abnormally so that food does not cause weight gain. For example, vomiting with fingers down the throat or taking laxatives so that the food can leave the body through stool.

Abnormal behavior in patients with bulimia nervosa can lead to sore throats, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and heart attacks and strokes.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder patients eat excessively in short periods in an uncontrollable manner similar to bulimia nervosa. While acting regretfully, the latter does not exhibit symptoms of bulimia nervosa. Complications of this problem can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes.

Pica

Patients with Pica have strong cravings for non-food items. For example paper, chalk, soap, cloth, soil, hair, ice, etc. This problem is more common in people with autism and schizophrenia. Complications of this problem can be food poisoning, malnutrition, infection, etc.

Rumination disorder

A patient with this disease regurgitates and re-chews or regurgitates food after eating. It is a disorder characterized by abnormal eating behavior. This problem is usually seen in children. However, it can rarely be seen in adults. Adults tend to eat less food along with this symptom.

ARFID (Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder)

A patient suffering from this disease dislikes the smell, taste, color, etc. of food or often does not eat due to aversion to food which results in malnutrition in the body. Refusal to eat food due to cultural or religious considerations does not constitute ARFID.

How do you know if you have an eating disorder?

Knowing the symptoms and types of eating disorders, many people may feel sick. Especially diseases such as Anorexia Nervosa, Pica, ARFID, etc. can create doubt in people’s minds. Many times people show reluctance to eat or worry about excess body weight which is not unusual at all.

Eating disorder is a mental illness and in the case of mental illness, ordinary people can’t diagnose or understand the type of disease by looking at the symptoms. Rather, many times the sick person does not realize that his behavior is abnormal. For this, other family members should be aware and take them to the psychiatrist. Psychiatrists will diagnose the disease by listening to the description of the disease, observing the behavior, and performing some tests. (Higuera, 2016)

Treatment of Eating Disorders

Along with that, the medicines that are used to cure mental problems should be consumed according to the rules. Also, a nutritionist can be consulted who get a proper idea about body weight, foods, nutrients, and calories and guide a healthy diet.

For patients with eating problems, support from friends and family is crucial. It is possible to get well quickly by sharing with everyone and maintaining sincerity.

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