Trying to keep up with the busy schedule of our daily lives often leaves us with extreme food habits. Not just that, skipping meals and stuffing your body with food could be bad for you. When these irregular eating habits become our daily routine, it results in the signs of eating disorder.
Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that can have severe physical and psychological effects. The major signs can vary depending on the type, but some common signs to look out for include drastic changes in weight or body shape, an obsession with food or eating habits, avoiding social activities involving food, excessive exercising, and having a distorted body image. Other signs may include frequent dieting or fasting, extreme mood swings, fixation on calories or nutrition facts, compulsive behavior around food (including hoarding), and wearing baggy clothes to hide one’s figure. These are serious illnesses and should be addressed by a medical professional if any of these potential signs are present. However, regardless of weight, signs, and symptoms can significantly affect health. For example, indulging in these unhealthy eating habits can also affect gut health.
Types of Eating Disorders
Scientifically, disordered eating can be classified into six types. However, the following three are the most important ones.
- Anorexia nervosa is a condition in which a person with restrictions of food intake to the point where someone with anorexia becomes dangerously thin. This can cause by an intense fear of gaining weight followed by a lack of interest in eating.
- Bulimia nervosa is a condition in which a person binge eats on food and then purges it by vomiting or using laxatives or diuretics.
- People with binge eating disorder is when someone with this condition eats large quantities of food but does not purge it afterward.
- Pica is evident in people who eat inedible substances out of their habit. It mainly affects toddlers; however, people of all ages suffer from this disorder in a few rare cases.
- Rumination is a regurgitation of the food consumed almost half an hour before. Although it is a newly discovered disorder, this can gradually affect any person regardless of any age for, adults, teens, adolescence or young adulthood.
- Severe restriction of food disorders are prevalent with people concerned about consuming too much oil, too many sweets, or too much salt. Just to these, a lot of people, especially vegans and gluten-free people, might have this symptom more evident than others
Not to mention that these conditions can get serious depending on their exposure and lead to many health problems. That is why there are various types of diets, such as vegan diet, keto diet or even dairy-free and gluten-free diet, for people who are affected by lactose and celiac disease respectively.
Causes of eating disorders
Someone with an eating disorder can have multiple causes. Genetic, environmental, and psychological factors can all contribute to someone living with an eating disorder. For example, people may be genetically predisposed to developing an eating disorder or have a family history of eating disorders. Environmental factors might also induce the risk of developing one or more types of eating disorder, such as negative body image messages from media or peers that lead to unhealthy dieting practices. Psychological factors are also important in understanding why someone may develop symptoms of an eating disorder, such as having low self-esteem or difficulty with emotion regulation. Additionally, underlying mental health issues such as depression or anxiety can increase the risk of developing a disordered eating habits. It is important to remember that no one factor is solely responsible for the development of an eating disorder symptom; rather it is a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological influences that can lead to the onset of disordered eating behaviors.
- Firstly, it is crucial to understand that there is no definitive cause of eating disorders. Instead, various factors can contribute to their development.
- One factor is that people with eating disorders might have different body types. Some people are genetically inclined to be overweight, while others are genetically predisposed to being underweight.
- Another factor is that society places a lot of pressure on people to be thin. As a result, many people turn to eat disorders with their desire to control their weight. Even psychological factors such as depression or anxiety can lead to sleeping disorders.
- Skipping meals every day could eventually reduce the regular appetite and result in uneven or binge eating. If you wonder what to eat that would help to avoid skipping meals, you should start by preparing a healthy breakfast for yourself.
So, let us check out these factors individually and analyze the signs of an eating disorders. Also, if you follow intermittent fasting, you should understand the nooks and crannies of intermittent fasting.
Genetics in Play
According to statistics, people with a family history of disordered eating are more likely to develop an eating disorder than those without a family history. This suggests that genetics can influence the development of eating disorders, although it is not yet known which specific genes might be involved. Genetic influences may include personality traits such as impulsivity and perfectionism, which may lead someone to adopt disordered eating behaviors. It means that they may have a higher risk of developing problems with food and weight, even if they do not have any other risk factors.
Environmental Influences for eating disorder
Environmental influences may include the availability of food, cultural expectations of thinness, family dynamics, and social pressures. For instance, when there is a lack of variety in available foods or restrictive dieting patterns, it can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors. Additionally, when an individual feels judged or pressured by their peers to look a certain way may lead them to develop anorexia or bulimia. When exposure to unhealthy media images and messages about food and weight, it can create unrealistic expectations and pressures regarding body shape and size, leading to eating disorders.
Eating disorders often gets associated with psychological problems such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, and anxiety or depression, especially in people with anorexia. These problems can make it difficult for people to cope with stress and emotions, leading them to turn into eating large amounts of food for comfort.
Eating disorders can affect people for various social reasons. A lot of them find that their obsessive eating disorder at some point becomes a way of coping with social situations. For example, they may use their eating disorder to control weight or obtain attention from others. But it is important to encourage them to seek diagnostic care and eating disorder treatment plans instead of binge and purge and loss of control over bingeing on any sort of restrict calories.
Some people may be more likely to binge on large amounts of food at some point in their life due to brain chemistry or hormone changes. On the other hand, it may be due to genetics, environmental influences, or both.
While there are many different causes, these are some of the most common ones. And all of these are equally capable of leaving your body at its worst. So, if you are concerned about the risks involved, here is how your body gets affected, and it is high time to seek for eating disorder recovery is they are still left untreated.
Risks of eating disorders
There are so many risks involved if someone is suffering from an eating disorder.
- First of all, if you are overweight, you will most likely lose weight with proper food and eating habits. However, there are some related conditions involves with being underweight. For example, you might become malnourished, leading to health problems like hair loss, brittle nails, and osteoporosis.
- Another risk of having an eating disorder is that you might not get enough nutrients in your body needs to function properly.
- Weaker immunity systems can make things worse for season changes, and also frequent changes in your blood pressure level might get induced.
- Generic problems of gastrointestinal issues, irritable bowel syndrome, acidity, and dehydration, could be the ones that can affect you the most.
If you face considerable changes in and around your body, it's important to seek a dietician and physician and put forth your health and wellness issues and get them solved. However, you may be at risk for developing atypical anorexia or bulimia may cause serious health consequences, and it is essential to seek help from a professional. Eating disorders can cause serious health problems if not treated on time. So do not wait – get help today!