6 Common Eating Disorders And How To Safely Deal With Them

Eating disorders can be very difficult to live with. Unfortunately, if they aren’t treated, then they can result in numerous health issues and even serious diseases. The treatment of eating disorders isn’t easy, however. This is because they are often caused by untreated mental health issues. One has to first treat the underlying mental health problem, which complicates things.
With all of that said, it is possible to treat them and if you are suffering from one, you don’t have to put up with it. This article will tell you about six of the world’s most common eating disorders and how you can treat them:

What Is An Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder is a serious mental health condition, characterized by the use of food to cope with one’s feelings or difficult situations. As you probably know, there are several different types of eating disorders. Some disorders cause people to eat too little, while others cause overeating. Nearly all eating disorders cause people to worry about the shape, size, and appearance of their bodies. Anybody can develop an eating disorder, but it is most common in teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16. If you suspect that you are suffering from an eating disorder, then it’s crucial that you visit a doctor.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

BED is a very serious mental health disorder. People that suffer from binge eating disorders eat very large quantities of food, feeling like they aren’t in control of what they are doing. It can result in excessive weight gain and serious health problems, especially if the person binge eats processed, unhealthy foods (which they often do). This disorder can be treated with cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), as well as medication to treat underlying depression or anxiety. It can affect anybody, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or background. 

Pica

Pica is a disorder that most people are familiar with because their pets have a proclivity toward it. However, it also affects human beings, and it can be very serious, even life-threatening. Pica is characterized by an urge to consume non-food substances, with no nutritional value, such as soap, paint, ice, chalk, or paper. A person must present with symptoms for at least a month in order to be diagnosed with the condition, and their consumption must not be related to cultural practices. It is rarely diagnosed in children under the age of two years old, who tend to put things in their mouths to explore. The treatment for pica involves therapy.

Anorexia

Anorexia is another serious mental health disorder, that can be detrimental to one’s health. Anorexia usually isn’t picked up on until a person has lost significant weight. The condition is characterized by intentional limitation of food and drink, out of fear of weight gain. Anorexic people often develop “rules” that determine what they can and can’t eat. Anorexic people often also do a lot of exercises, in order to improve their appearance. It is also treated with therapy.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is a mental illness that can affect anybody, regardless of their age or gender. Bulimic people find themselves in a cycle of eating large quantities of food, then purging their bodies by vomiting, taking laxatives, fasting, or exercising excessively. Bulimia is treated through a combination of therapy, antidepressants, and nutritional education. For the best outcome, treatment should be sought as early as possible.

Orthorexia

Orthorexia is a condition that results in sufferers developing an obsession with eating food that they deem to be “pure.” This could include organic food or only vegetables. It’s important to make clear that just because a person embarks on a healthy diet and refuses to eat certain foods, that does not mean that they are suffering from orthorexia. The condition develops out of a need to quell bad or negative thoughts and feelings. Eating “pure” foods is all about control, not diet or health. This condition is typically treated the same way that the other conditions here are, through antidepressants, therapy, and education. It is important that one does seek treatment because this condition can result in the development of nutritional deficiencies.

Rumination Disorder (RD)

Finally, we arrive at rumination disorder, a mental health condition that causes repetitive, habitual vomiting. People often do this without even trying to, exerting little effort. It is not painful. People that suffer from this disorder rarely feel nauseous and are not disgusted. It can affect anyone. Sometimes, people that suffer from this disorder will re-chew and re-swallow food, or just spit it out, after it has come back up into their mouth. People who suffer from this disorder need to receive therapeutic treatment because they are often not in control of their urges.

Eating disorders can be very hard to live with and manage. Treatment is available, however. It does take time and requires dedication, but through a combination of medicine, therapy, and education, you too can overcome your eating disorder and get your health back in order.  

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