Hello and welcome back to my blog.
For the month of August, I will be raising awareness on Eating Disorders.
Here are some of the most common Eating Disorders:
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by weight loss, difficulties maintaining an appropriate body weight for height, age, and stature; and, in many individuals, distorted body image. People with anorexia generally restrict the number of calories and the types of food they eat. Some people with the disorder also exercise compulsively, purge via vomiting and laxatives, and/or binge eat.
Common Signs & Symptoms:
- Dramatic weight loss
- Dresses in layers to hide weight loss or stay warm
- Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting. Makes frequent comments about feeling “fat.’
- Resists or is unable to maintain a body weight appropriate for their age, height, and build
- Maintains an excessive, rigid exercise regime – despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury
2. Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.
Common Signs & Symptoms:
- Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food
- Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics
- Drinks excessive amounts of water or non-caloric beverages, and/or uses excessive amounts of mouthwash, mints, and gum
- Has calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles from self- induced vomiting
- Dental problems, such as enamel erosion, cavities, discoloration of teeth from vomiting, and tooth sensitivity
3. Binge eating disorder
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a severe, life-threatening, and treatable eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating.
Common Signs & Symptoms:
- Secret recurring episodes of binge eating (eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is much larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances); feels lack of control over ability to stop eating
- Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating, and/or feelings of low self-esteem
- Steals or hoards food in strange places
- Creates lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions
- Evidence of binge eating, including the disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time period or a lot of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food.
4. Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders
Formerly known as EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). This category was developed as a means to encompass the many individuals who do not meet the strict diagnostic criteria for the above mentioned eating disorders but rather may seem to vacillate between them at different stages of their illness.
Common signs and Symptoms:
- binge eating with or without compensatory measures to reduce weight gain such as purging, over exercising, laxative or diuretic abuse
- Prolonged periods of dieting or restricting amount or types of food. Cutting out certain food groups or developing strict safe foods and fear foods.
- Self-esteem overly related to body image
- Obsession around calories or food intake and energy output
Although not a formal diagnosis Orthorexia is being recognized as an emerging eating disorder in which the individual is overly obsessed with healthy or whole foods. This obsession is not merely a healthy lifestyle choice rather it begins to consume the individual and their life becomes unmanageable because of it. Unlike most eating disorder Orthorexia is mostly concerned with food quality not quantity. The healthy food obsession is not always due to a desire to control ones weight rather it may be an obsession with the ‘purity’ or ‘cleanliness’ of the food they put in their body.
Healthy eating can lead to major improvements in health and well-being, however, for those who develop Orthorexia the control and rigidity around their diet can be damaging.
Eating Disorders are NOT!
- Simply about food and weight
- A choice
- A superficial illness
Did you know?
Anorexia Nervosa is the mental illness with the highest mortality rate!!!
If you are or know of any suffering from any of the above disorders, please get in touch!
Love & Light,