How do I know if I have an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is a problematic eating habit that negatively impacts a person’s general health. Eating disorders develop in large part due to poor mental health. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, pica, rumination disorder, and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) are only a few of the six basic forms of disordered eating . Continue reading to know in detail about what exactly is disordered eating and eating disorders symptoms.

Types of eating disorders

  • Anorexia Nervosa

Typically, women are more likely to experience this form of eating disorder. This type of person would think of themselves as overweight and obese even though they are actually underweight. Even if the person is severely underweight, the illness makes them believe they are overweight and should avoid eating, which has an adverse effect on their mental health. Continuous self-starvation causes serious health issues like infertility, thinning hair, nails, and bones, as well as occasionally brain, heart, and multi-organ failure.

  • Bulimia Nervosa

This is a severe eating disorder in which a person would overeat, and their guilt over the overeating will drive them to engage in hazardous activities like overexercising or forcing oneself to vomit. This type of person will starve themselves in the morning and begin binging on food at night owing to excessive hunger. People will occasionally use laxatives in an effort to lose weight.

  • Binge-eating disorder

One of the most prevalent chronic illnesses among children is this kind of sickness. These people struggle to curb their binge-eating tendencies. But unlike anorexia and bulimia, they would binge and eat in privacy instead of trying to overdo exercise or starve themselves.

  • Rumination disorder

With this disorder, the person will bring the food they’ve just swallowed to their mouth and either chew it or spit it out. When compared to other eating disorders, this is very different. This could begin as early as in a newborn. If ruminative disorder is not addressed, it can lead to malnutrition and occasionally even death.

  • Pica

Another odd eating disease, this one causes sufferers to consume non-edible objects like chalk, muck, hair, paper, soap, dirt, wool, fabric, stones, tube lights, and detergent. This disorder commonly affects people with conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and other intellectual disabilities.

Eating disorders symptoms

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Always preferring to eat alone
  • Avoiding meal times
  • Too much concern about your body weight
  • Refusing to eat, despite feeling hungry
  • Episodes of binge eating and purging
  • Too much exercising
  • Constantly checking on your weight
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Frequent passing out
  • Muscle soreness
  • Slowly healing wounds
  • Bad immune system function

Causes and treatment for eating disorders

An eating disorder can be developed in large part due to genetics. Environmental factors and mental health are also important. Depending on the type of eating disorder a person inherits, several treatments are available. Medication, nutrition counseling, psychotherapy, and the Maudsley Approach are some of the frequently used therapeutic methods. Reaching out to a healthcare professional is always advised if you or someone you know experiences the symptoms. Never choose to self-medicate as it could make the condition worse.