An eating disorder is a very serious mental disorder, characterised by an abnormal appetite, excessive exercise and or body mass or shape being an abnormal preoccupation of somebody in life. Eating disorders can take a variety of forms and interfere considerably with somebody in daily life. Anorexia is one of the most common eating disorders. The sufferer will usually have an abnormal fear of gaining weight and will eat small amounts but will refuse to eat. They will use food as a way of coping and will eventually become malnourished.
Bulimia nervosa is a common form of eating disorder. The sufferer will indulge in extremely restrictive dieting and exercise regimes and become obsessed with what they should be eating. Warning signs will be that the individual will frequently cry or whine when they are not eating their required foods. Weight gain will occur fairly rapidly and a low self esteem will develop. In women, complications such as ovarian cancer and diabetes can develop as a result of bulimia.
Another form of eating disorder involves the individual suffering from a lingering disorder. A bingeing victim will consume large amounts of food without the normal social patterns and customs occurring in normal weight situations. This can then lead to binge eating, where the individual will consume uncontrollable amounts of food even when they are not hungry. Warning signs will include sweating heavily after eating and feeling nauseous or confused after eating. Weight gain will occur very rapidly and a low self esteem will develop amongst those who suffer from this form of disorder.
Hypoglycaemia is another form of eating disorder which can cause health problems for those who suffer. If the blood sugar levels drop slightly too much after a meal, there is a risk that hypoglycaemia will occur and cause severe medical problems. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, cramps and blurred vision. It is very important to consult a doctor as soon as possible on symptoms developing.
Anorexia is yet another eating disorder, which is classified as an eating disorder due to a lack of proper nutritional intake. The victims of this disorder will often starve themselves due to their fear of gaining too much weight. Symptoms include rapid weight loss and pallor as well as constipation and bloating. This causes many sufferers to feel they have no options other than starvation. Warning signs include frequent urination, fatigue, hair loss and frequent heart palpitations.
Many eating disorders often begin in teenage years. Some of the symptoms which will be evident for those who are struggling with this disorder include mood swings, anxiety and depression. Weight gain is often one of the first complications experienced by sufferers and they often have difficulty maintaining their weight. Warning signs will include uncontrollable eating habits, a depressed state of mind and extreme emotional disturbances. As these eating habits continue, so does the complications resulting from it.
A final eating disorder that can be linked with anorexia is called bulimia. Those who suffer from this disorder will often purge their bodies of food by vomiting it back up or by fasting. Warning signs will include extreme dieting, irregular menstrual cycles, self-induced vomiting and diarrhea and severe weight loss. Although this eating disorder can also be linked to body image issues, it is far more common for those suffering from it to purge their bodies of everything which is unhealthy.
If you or someone you know suffers from any of the eating disorders described here, please seek treatment immediately. No one should have to struggle with their health or their body image for this long without help. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available for those who suffer from any of the eating disorders. Whether it is a mild case or if you are combating an addiction like bulimia or anorexia, there are various treatment programs out there which can help.