An Introduction To Eating Disorders

An Introduction To Eating Disorders

An Introduction To Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are among those modern conditions which arent always taken seriously by the wider population, but which can have very serious effects for its victims. ​
Indeed, far from being a​ minor problem which sufferers can solve simply by pulling themselves together, many of​ the eating disorders commonly seen are recognized psychological conditions which if ​ left untreated can even turn out to be fatal. ​
For this reason its very important to spot any early signs of​ eating disorders in yourself, your family, or​ friends and ​ colleagues, so that treatment can be started while the problem remains relatively easily coped with.
No one knows for sure how many people are affected by the main disorders, namely anorexia and ​ bulimia, as​ the official figures inevitably under report the true extent of​ the problem. ​
One of​ the features of​ these conditions, and ​ anorexia in particular, is a​ lack of​ awareness in the sufferer that they actually have a​ problem, and ​ so they naturally dont seek help. ​
In the case of​ bulimia binge eating compulsive eating, there is also often an element of​ guilt over what the sufferer acknowledges is inappropriate and ​ uncontrolled behavior, again leading to an avoidance of​ treatment.
Bulimia is far more common than anorexia, with around 10% of​ women suffering from the former compared to 1% the latter. ​
Among anorexics, around 10% of​ sufferers will eventually die as​ a​ result of​ the condition, and ​ so should you spot any of​ the warning signs then medical advice should be urgently sought.
What is for sure is that eating disorders are more common than might be expected, and ​ many consider the problem to be increasing in scope partly because of​ todays mass media promotion of​ attaining perfect body images.
Anorexia Nervosa, or​ plain anorexia as​ its usually referred to as, is characterized by an unrealistic perception of​ ones own body. ​
Sufferers will look into the mirror and ​ see an overweight person looking back at ​ them, however slim they may actually be. ​
This constant desire to be thinner can lead to extreme dieting, excessive and ​ obsessive exercise, and ​ a​ preoccupation with food and ​ avoiding it​ that can really take over a​ persons life. ​
In extreme cases, the self starvation will continue unchecked until it​ proves fatal, even when the physical evidence that the sufferer is seriously underweight should be overwhelmingly obvious.
The effects of​ bulimia, on the other hand, may not be visible to outside observers. ​
This disorder is characterized by bouts of​ hugely excessive eating, followed by purging activities to rid the body of​ the excess calories. ​
Sufferers will lose control of​ their eating completely during these periods, gorging themselves way beyond any level of​ food intake necessary for health. ​
Common methods of​ purging include selfinduced vomiting and ​ overuse of​ laxatives, and ​ this is usually followed by a​ sense of​ self loathing and ​ repulsion at ​ the lack of​ control shown. ​
The sufferer may also selfstarve as​ both a​ form of​ atonement for their behavior and ​ as​ a​ self imposed punishment.
While bulimia is not as​ physically harmful as​ anorexia, the psychological effects can be devastating, leading to depression and ​ even more serious outcomes including suicide in the worst of​ cases. ​
The physical signs of​ bulimia which can be observed tend to be related to the purging methods used, and ​ include regularly bloodshot eyes, swollen glands, and ​ dental erosion. ​
In the long term, the dangers include digestive system problems such as​ ulcers, weakness and ​ exhaustion, and ​ even heart problems.

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