Common Eating Disorders: How to Choose a Healthy Diet

The 3 most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating. These are serious issues with many health risks.

Anorexia is a disorder that causes rapid weight loss. It usually involves restricting the food that one eats. It is usually also accompanied by a feeling of fatness and excessive exercise. Binge-eating is also a common symptom of anorexia. Bulimia is characterized by an insatiable urge to eat, followed by purging or other unhealthy coping mechanisms to avoid gaining weight.

Women are also more susceptible to eating disorders. According to one study, women have an eating disorder at least once in their life. Most of these women are between 18 and 35 years old.

Eating disorders are serious conditions and they can negatively affect everyone’s life.

What is an eating disorder?

People with eating disorders are more likely to be obsessed with food, but there is a debate on whether this is healthy or unhealthy.

People with eating disorders often feel ashamed or guilty about their eating behaviors. These people can be obsessed with food to the extent of controlling their weight, but the obsession with food is linked to self-harm, suicide, and even death.

People with eating disorders can be very thin, normal-weight, or even overweight.

Some sources say that binge-eating is the most common eating disorder nowadays, however anorexia and bulimia have been common eating disorders for a very long time.

3 Most Common Eating Disorders

Below are the most common eating disorders found.

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia Nervosa is the eating disorder whereby the anorexic person self-imposed fasting or dieting with severe weight loss that is at least 15% below the recommended weight.

People with anorexia nervosa will be over exercising in an attempt to lose weight. They are obsessed with eating diet food, not eating at all, and weighting themselves often. Anorexia Nervosa can lead to severe malnutrition, brain damage, sterility, damage to vital organs, heart failure and even death.

Causes of Anorexia Nervosa

Causes of anorexia nervosa include being underweight, being on a diet, watching the scale too often, comparing your body with others, or using exercise as a means to lose weight. People with anorexia nervosa may be bullied, teased or even berated by friends for being too fat. Some may even resort to using laxatives, diuretics, vomiting and/or overexercising.

People with anorexia also have a tendency to be perfectionists, or have a need for control.

They may not be very intelligent and may try to find a way to “fix” themselves by restricting what they eat or weighing themselves all of the time. In some cases, people with anorexia nervosa may have a genetic defect. Women with anorexia are usually younger than men who have the disorder, and it usually starts between the ages of 13 and 25. Anorexia nervosa is considered a “chronic eating disorder” because it lasts for more than six months.

Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

Patients with anorexia nervosa are generally hospitalized for an initial treatment period ranging from a few days to a few months. During this time they will undergo counseling and may be given medicine to treat their depression.

A person with anorexia nervosa needs to understand that “it is not about the number on the scale.”

Instead, focus on your body and what it feels like to be strong and healthy. Anorexics may need to attend treatment groups and also group meetings to help with family and friends. They should be helped with finding healthy coping skills and learn to appreciate their bodies. People with anorexia will need to take a lot of time for themselves and try to live their lives with a more positive outlook.

Recovery from Anorexia Nervosa

The time it takes for someone to recover from anorexia nervosa varies. Recovery takes time, but the person can do some things to speed up the process. Things like eating five or six small meals a day and eating healthy snacks in between, not weighing yourself all the time, and getting rest and exercise regularly. It is important for the person to stop using food as an emotional crutch and they should be in charge of their own meals. They should also try to stop thinking about food all the time.

If you know of someone who is struggling with anorexia nervosa, it is important for you to help them. Make sure they understand that people with anorexia do not look good on the outside because they are trying to feel better on the inside. There is nothing wrong with their bodies, but they are obsessed with weight loss.

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Severe Bulimia Nervosa is a worse eating disorder than Anorexia Nervosa. People with Bulimia Nervosa will eat, possibly a large amount of food quickly. However, they will vomit it all out. Vomiting, emetics, laxatives, diuretics and diet pills are common tools for people with Bulimia Nervosa.

Bulimic people usually have fluctuating weight and very unhealthy. However, there are different level of Bulimia Nervosa and usually people don’t have the severe case of Bulimia Nervosa and light treatment is enough to cure this eating disorder.

Causes of Bulimia Nervosa

Causes of bulimia nervosa include genetic, behavioral, and biological factors. Biologic factors in bulimia nervosa include hormones. For example, hormones associated with women during their premenstrual or pregnancy states, and the release of hormones by the body when under stress, all can be related to bulimia.

Psychologic factors also play a role in bulimia nervosa. The relationship with family of origin may be a factor in bulimia nervosa. Children with this disorder may have had trouble developing a healthy relationship with their parents in their early childhood.

Bulimia Nervosa is more common in people who have had difficult times in their childhood with their parents. However, it can also be associated with an abusive or dysfunctional family.

Bulimia nervosa risk factors

Bulimia nervosa is associated with a higher rate of anxiety disorders and/or depression. A common reason for bulimia nervosa is the need to lose weight or control body size. Many people who have Bulimia Nervosa are young, and may have been bullied in school and socially.

Many people with Bulimia Nervosa have had problems with drugs, food, and sex, and this can be a common cause for developing bulimia nervosa.

Bulimia nervosa affects many people who have difficulty with maintaining a healthy relationship with food. In addition, people with Bulimia Nervosa are often ashamed of their weight, and they have difficulties about the appearance of their body.

Treatment options

Because bulimia nervosa is a psychological disorder, it can be cured with psychotherapy. However, it takes time to break down this disorder through psychotherapy. It may take months of treatment, and the symptoms of bulimia nervosa may go away for months or even a few years.

What is Binge-eating Disorder?

Binge-eating disorder will make people eat large amount of food in an uncontrollable way. During a binge episode, patients will eat fast and eat a lot of food until they are extremely full. After the binge episode, patients may feel guilty of eating too much food, eating bad food, and embarrassed.

Many people eat too much food until they are overly full, but that does not mean they have a binge episode.

Causes of binge-eating

Causes of binge-eating are not always clear, but are usually due to the following:

  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth. Low self-esteem will make a person think that eating more is the way to become happy. During a binge-eating episode, patients will use food to fill their feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction.
  • Stress. Stress is an overwhelming feeling caused by an event, person, or situation. Stress can result in the release of adrenaline into the body which will speed up metabolism. It can also make a person feel uncomfortable, anxious, and even depressed. In order to reduce stress, a person will eat food to ease the feeling of stress.
  • Inability to control eating and weight. Some people will eat when they are in stress because eating will make them feel better. Eating during stress is a coping mechanism. Sometimes, people who are extremely overweight or obese have difficulties controlling their weight. Overweight people may binge-eat due to trying to eat less food to lose weight.
  • Emotional problems. Feelings of depression and anxiety can cause people to binge-eat. They try to cope with their emotions by eating. A person who is depressed will eat a lot of food to feel better or to try to improve their mood.
  • Stimulants. The stimulant that people use is usually caffeine. Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other forms of caffeine can make a person feel jittery and tired. During a binge-eating episode, a person will eat a lot of food to feel better.
  • Drug abuse. People who use illegal drugs like crack, cocaine, and heroin will get a high or feel a rush from the drugs. As a result, they will eat more food to feel the same way the drugs made them feel. They may feel less pain and less discomfort during binge-eating episodes.

Treatment of binge-eating disorder

If you have symptoms of binge-eating disorder, you will need to take medicine and change your lifestyle to treat the condition. The treatment of binge-eating disorder will depend on the cause of the disorder. The main treatment is based on lifestyle changes.

Some treatments of binge-eating disorder are:

  • Group therapy or individual therapy: To make you feel more comfortable with your feelings and the way you think.
  • A psychiatrist: A psychiatrist can treat the underlying causes of binge-eating disorder. The doctor will look at your family history to find out what is causing the binge-eating episodes. Your psychiatrist may recommend medical or psychological treatments or psychotherapy to help control the symptoms of binge-eating disorder.
  • Medical treatment: To help control the symptoms of binge-eating disorder.
  • Behavior therapy: Behavior therapy can help people with binge-eating disorder change their behavior to help with their condition.

Importance of Healthy Diet for Patients with Eating Disorders

When a person is suffering from an eating disorder, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Therefore, it is necessary to pay extra attention to the food and nutrition of this group of people. It is very important to provide them with all necessary support and advice so that they can begin to take control of the situation.

A healthy diet is an integral part of every life, which becomes essential for those suffering from eating disorders. A balanced diet should provide the body with the necessary nutrients. A proper diet is also a key factor for ensuring the best mental condition.

If the diet of a person suffering from an eating disorder is inadequate, it can lead to physical or psychological discomfort. These conditions require careful attention, since improper food can provoke a mental disorder in a person.