EATING DISORDERS - such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder - include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences. Having an eating disorder can damage your heart, muscles, bones, skin, teeth and stomach.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Anorexia includes obsessive calorie counting and a general loss of interest in food in order to maintain their ideal body image. Anorexics are perfectionists, driven to succeed; yet they set unattainable standards of performance for themselves. When they fail to meet these standards, they look for a part of their lives they can control; food and weight become that “control” for them.
Sign and symptoms of anorexia include:
Reduction in eating
Lying about eating and denials of hunger
Signs of starvation
Abnormal menstrual periods
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Bulimia involves consuming large amounts of food--more than most people would eat in one meal-over short periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through forced vomiting, laxative abuse, or over-exercising.
Signs and symptoms of bulimia include:
Repeated episodes of bingeing then purging
Never feeling full or satisfied
Feeling out of control when eating
Vomiting, using laxatives, diet pills or diuretics, exercising excessively, and skipping meals to rid the body of food
Who it Affects
Anyone can develop an eating disorder regardless of age, race, gender or background. However, young women are most vulnerable, particularly between the ages of 14 and 25. People who suffer from eating disorders, are not only hurting themselves, but are hurting their friends and family too. Certain factors can increase the risk of developing...