What you need to know about eating disorders

Controlling portions to lose weight is a healthy behavior, but there are times when these healthy behaviors go out of hand and effect your everyday life. Eating healthy and staying fit should be a lifestyle choice and not an obsession, and many become overly obsessed about how they appear physically, and that is not considered healthy and can have harmful outcomes. Eating disorders are a serious concern, more than 1.6 million people in the UK are effected by some type of eating disorders. Around 10 million women and 1 million men suffer from eating disorders, more common in women, women are generally overly concerned about their appearance.

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Although, there are many types of eating disorders, anorexia is the most common one, anorexia nervosa makes people eat way less calories than required, because they fear weight gain, resulting in very thin and unhealthy appearance. The phobia or fear of getting overweight, out of shape or not size zero makes them avoid food as much as they can and exercise more than required. When you exercise more than required and beyond the limits of your body, the hormones become disrupted and the body goes into survival mode, thus badly affecting other systems of the body, especially fertility.

Worrying obsessively about weight is not a healthy sign, the lack of nutrition can damage every organ, for example, by cutting out fats, you are removing the precursor for reproductive hormones, thus compromising your fertility. It can damage your brain, heart, kidneys, liver, bones, skin and teeth. People with anorexia usually have a distorted body image, intense drive for thinness, obsession with dieting and have a fear of becoming fat. Anorexic people have around 15% lower body weight than normal body weight. As anorexia effects every organ of the body, it can be fatal in some cases.

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Bulimia nervosa is another type of eating disorder that makes people do binge eating, people with bulimia overeat to an extent it excesses their appetite. Women again are mostly effected by bulimia, overeat and feel that it’s out of control, eating very quickly, then feeling guilty and fasting or doing crash dieting or excessive exercise. Bulimia can cause sudden death and it is very dangerous. Binge eating of another type causes people to overeat and eat very quickly, especially in the times of stress and depression. Binge eating is very common, binge eaters usually overeat in the moments of stress and are generally obese.

Eating disorders can lower self esteem and have negative outcomes on health, often drug abuse, depression and anxiety are linked with eating disorders, but the good news is psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and medication can help control or eliminate these eating disorders.