Authored by Gary Eugene in Diseases
Published on 11-23-2008
Most people think that eating disorders affect only a small percentage of women. But little do they know that they also affect children, men, and older women. Eating disorders also affect all ethnic and racial backgrounds. Specific reasons for the disorders may vary on a case-to-case basis, but the bottom line is that absolutely no one is exempted. Knowing what to look for in the early stages of the disorder may help save people that you care for before it is too late.
One of two of the most common eating disorder is anorexia nervosa, a deliberate and sustained attempt to lose weight driven by fear of becoming overweight. This fear drives men and women to starve themselves to the point of death.
The other eating disorder is bulimia nervosa. Bulimics either eat normally or excessively. This is followed by extreme feelings of guilt and shame, leading bulimics to overcompensate with over exercising, crash dieting, or vomiting. This will eventually lead to another cycle of emptiness, which often leads to uncontrolled bursts of eating. Both of these eating disorders are classified by many doctors as a mental disorder.
It is very important for one to have sufficient knowledge of such illnesses so that we can recognize the sufferers as early as possible before it is too late. People suffering from eating disorders do not cry for help, but the problem is exhibited by their behavior. These are some of the things we need to watch out for in determining if a person is anorexic, bulimic, or both.
- Abnormally low body weight
- Sudden loss or gaining of weight
- Fatigue, dizziness, or fainting
- Dry lips, thinning hair, and brittle nails
- Absence of three consecutive menstrual cycles
- Recurring constipation or diarrhea
- Major changes in eating habits
- Refusal to eat all but a few select foods
- Making trips to the bathroom immediately after each meal
- Extreme fear of gaining weight or preoccupation with weight and shape of the body
People with eating disorders exhibit depressions, anxiety, or panic attacks. Anorexics are perfectionists to the point of illusion while bulimics harbor feelings of lack of control. It is very important that they get help as early as possible because serious physical consequences, like heart failure, anemia, bone loss, lung collapse, stomach, or intestinal problems would eventually happen. No matter how much the toll on their bodies is, it is still a mental disorder. One that can still be reversed through support and encouragement from their loved ones.