Eating disorders …. !!!
Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions associated with severe disturbances in eating behaviours, cognition and emotions, leading to psychological impairment and even death, if the condition persists. Eating disorders can affect a person’s health by changing the eating patterns in such a way of eating inadequately or excessively. Further, according to psychiatry.org, eating disorders are mostly present in women aged between 12 and 35 years.
As per the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), there are mainly following three types of eating disorders, present equally in both genders.
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorder
Anorexia nervosa is a life-threatening condition, usually presents in females. It requires immediate medical and psychiatric treatments. A person with anorexia nervosa has typically following manifestations:
- Refusal to eat or extremely restricted eating.
- Severe caloric restrictions.
- Significant weight loss or thinness.
- Refusal to maintain a healthy weight.
- Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming obese.
- Disordered body image.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
- Dizziness and fatigue.
- Irregular or slow heart rate
Bulimia Nervosa is a condition that affects more people than anorexia nervosa, and it is manifested by:
- Recurrent and uncontrolled binge eating.
- Excessive caloric intake in a short period followed by purging of food via forced vomiting or use of laxatives or diuretics.
- Sore throat and chronically inflamed throat.
- Swollen salivary glands.
- Worn tooth enamel, tooth decay or sensitivity.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder or acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Electrolyte imbalance and Dehydration.
- Heart abnormalities.
- Aspiration pneumonia.
- Psychological concerns like anxiety, depression.
- Excessive exercise.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is another type of eating disorder, characterized by recurrent feelings of being unable to control the food intake. It usually has the following characteristics:
- Excessive eating or more than normal in a specific amount of time (at least one time per week for 3 months).
- Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
- Loss of control on eating during the episode.
- Eating alone.
- Eating even without being hungry.
- Feeling distressed and ashamed after excessive eating.
- Frequent dieting without weight loss.
The affected person must seek medical, psychological and nutritional treatment to restore his/her health. Further, behavioural counselling therapy plays an important role in bringing change.