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Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a group of conditions that are characterized by abnormal eating habits. This can involve overeating and under eating, each which have negative consequences on the body. The lack or excessive amount of food intake has a variety of negative health effects including physical and mental issues.  There are a few different types of conditions that fall under the umbrella of eating disorders including Anorexia NervosaBulimia Nervosa and Binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders seem to affect females more often than males, but males can be affected as well.

The cause of eating disorders is not entirely known, with evidence showing that a variety of different factors help to influence who may become inflicted with an eating disorders. In cultures where a certain look of a thin person is the ideal eating disorders appear to be more prevalent. Those who suffer from an eating disorder often suffer from feelings of low self worth, obsessive behaviours and anxiety. Many people who suffer from an eating disorder may also have post-traumatic stress disorder or have been bullied because of their looks. Some people who suffer from an eating disorder may also have body dysmorphic disorder. This means that the person views them self quite differently than they actually look. An example of this could be a very slim woman viewing herself as overweight. There may also be a genetic link involved in who develops an eating disorder but there is no certain evidence to prove if this is or is not the case.

Eating disorders can have many side effects on the body including constipation, electrolyte imbalance, kidney failure, diarrhea and water retention. Other symptoms associated with eating disorders include weakness, dizziness, weight loss, sensitivity to cold and more. People who use purging to control their weight are also at risk of developing acid reflux and tooth loss.

The best type of treatment for eating disorders is prevention and education.  This can include fostering healthy eating habits and routines at a young age. It also involves preventing bullying and shaming about weight. Teaching children how to listen to the cues their body is giving them about hunger and feeling full is also important. There are many different types of treatment available for those suffering from an eating disorder. The most common form of treatment includes seeing a psychiatrist so that they can find out what underlying issues need to be addressed. Cognitive behavioural therapy, behaviour therapy and nutrition counselling are all beneficial ways of treating those suffering from an eating disorder. For more serious and advanced stages of an eating disorder inpatient treatment may be advised so that the doctor can watch over the physical and mental health of the patient.

We discuss many different types of eating disorders including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-eating disorder.

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