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A Guide to Eating Disorders

eating-disorder

You see the mes­sages all the time about weigh­ing the right amount, and look­ing the way soci­ety demands. “Use our prod­uct to look beau­ti­ful!” “Look fab­u­lous by eat­ing this one ingre­di­ent!” We are con­stantly bom­barded with images and mes­sages that tell us that we need to change our weight, even if we already are a healthy size. They tell us we need to fit into those size 0 jeans, because if we don’t, we are ter­ri­ble peo­ple. Some­times that shame and guilt can lead us to make wrong decisions.

We know that we should lose weight the healthy way: eat­ing right and exer­cis­ing. For many men and women, this isn’t good enough. Accord­ing to the National Eat­ing Dis­or­ders Asso­ci­a­tion, 20 mil­lion women and 10 mil­lion men have some kind of eat­ing dis­or­der in the United States. An eat­ing dis­or­der is an ill­ness that deals with the amount of food you eat, whether a lot or a lit­tle. Here are the facts about three major eat­ing dis­or­ders: bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating.

 

Type

What it is

Signs and Symptoms

Result­ing Problems

Bulimia

Eat­ing food and then get­ting rid of it by vom­it­ing or over-exercising.
  • Going to the bath­room dur­ing meals
  • Weight that fluc­tu­ates often
  • Dam­aged tooth enamel and bad breath
  • Sore throat or mouth sores
  • Dehy­dra­tion or acid reflux or other stom­ach problems
  • Irreg­u­lar heart­beat and pos­si­ble heart failure
  • Elec­trolyte imbalance
  • Inflam­ma­tion and pos­si­ble rup­ture of the esophagus
  • Tooth decay and irreg­u­lar bowel movements
  • Ulcers
  • High blood pres­sure, high cho­les­terol levels
  • Gall­blad­der disease
  • Irreg­u­lar heart­beat and pos­si­ble heart failure
  • Elec­trolyte imbalance
  • Inflam­ma­tion and pos­si­ble rup­ture of the esophagus
  • Tooth decay and irreg­u­lar bowel movements
  • Ulcers
  • High blood pres­sure, high cho­les­terol levels
  • Gall­blad­der disease
Anorexia Deny­ing the body nutri­ents in order to avoid gain­ing weight. This can mean a refusal to eat any food, or a refusal to eat healthy amounts of food.
  • Ema­ci­a­tion
  • Deep fear of gain­ing weight
  • Restricted eat­ing habits
  • Dis­torted body image
  • Inabil­ity to main­tain a nor­mal weight
  • Con­stantly weigh­ing themselves
  • Weak, brit­tle bones
  • Loss of hair
  • Fatigue and mus­cle loss
  • Increased risk of heart fail­ure due to a slow heart rate and low blood pressure
  • Downy hair all over the body because of the body try­ing to stay warm
  • Multi-organ fail­ure
  • Weak, brit­tle bones
  • Loss of hair
  • Fatigue and mus­cle loss
  • Increased risk of heart fail­ure due to a slow heart rate and low blood pressure
  • Downy hair all over the body because of the body try­ing to stay warm
  • Multi-organ fail­ure
Binge eat­ing Eat­ing exces­sive amounts of food at a time, and not being able to limit your food intake to a healthy amount.
  • Feel­ing numb while on a binge
  • Stock­pil­ing food for future binges
  • Feel­ing stressed or anx­ious and need­ing to eat to relieve the stress or anxiety
  • Eat­ing even if they are full
  • Eat­ing nor­mally in pub­lic and overeat­ing in private
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insom­nia
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Depres­sion and/or anxiety
  • Obe­sity
  • Heart dis­ease
  • Gall­blad­der disease
  • High blood pres­sure and cho­les­terol levels
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Insom­nia
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Depres­sion and/or anxiety
  • Obe­sity
  • Heart dis­ease
  • Gall­blad­der disease
  • High blood pres­sure and cho­les­terol levels

 

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