With the emergence of yo yo dieting and new fad diet trends, little is been known about the ill side effects of extreme dietary restrictive behaviours resulting in disordered eating lifestyles. Unhealthy approaches to weight control and negative perspectives around body and shape are leading to opting for restrictive forms of eating behaviours.
It is the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDA Week 2022) – it is an annual campaign to educate the public about the realities of eating disorders and to provide hope, support and visibility to individuals and family who are affected by eating disorders.
Disordered eating behaviours are type of eating patterns where in it is on a spectrum between eating disorder and normal eating, includes symptoms and behaviours of eating disorders. Disordered Eating includes restrictive eating, compulsive eating or irregular or inflexible eating behaviours.
Eating disorders are behavioural conditions characterized by persistent and severe disturbance in eating behaviours and associated distressing thoughts and emotions. They can be very serious conditions affecting physical, psychological and social function.
Types of Eating Disorders include- Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake (AFRID) seen in children, other specified eating disorder (OFSED), Pica and other Rumination Disorders.
Cause of disordered eating
Eating disorders affect several million people at any given time. According to statistics, it is seen in women between the ages of 12 and 35 and now lately it is slowly been diagnosed in the male population as well. Eating Disorders are now seen in a wide variety of population, affecting at any age and any gender.
Eating disorders often co-occur with other psychiatric disorders like most commonly mood and anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, alcohol and drug abuse problems.
Evidence now indicates that genes and heritability play a part in why some people are at a higher risk for an eating disorder, but these disorders can gravely affect people with no hereditary history.
Symptoms of eating disorders
Eating disorders are often associated with preoccupation with food, weight, shape or with anxiety about eating or the consequences of eating certain foods.
Signs and symptoms of eating disorders are the following:
? Cutting out or eliminating important nutritious food groups ( no sugar, no carbs, low protein or high protein, no dairy etc).
? Frequent dieting, anxiety associated with certain foods or skipping of meals.
? Maintains an excessive hard exercise routine to burn off the food calories.
? Self-induced vomiting or intake of laxative pills.
? High usage of steroid or creatinine pills for controlling weight.
? Misusing weight loss supplements or going on extreme long detox diets.
? Feeling guilty after eating and experiencing lot of body weight shame.
? Extreme preoccupation with food, weight and body image that negatively affects and impact quality of life.
? A feeling of loss around food, including compulsive eating habits.
? Rigid rituals and routines around food and exercise.
Why are eating disorders and extreme dieting dangerous?
Disordered eating behaviours and in particular dieting are among the most common risk factors for the development of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are severe and life-threatening mental illnesses.
Restricting the amount of food you eat can be a very dangerous practice. When the body is starved of food it responds by reducing the rate at which it burns energy (the metabolic rate) and this can result in over eating and binge eating behaviours. Dieting is also associated with other health concerns like depression and anxiety.
Physical health risks associated with eating disorders
The risks associated with disordered eating behaviours are severe. People with disordered eating may experience:
? Osteoporosis: a reduction in bone density caused by a specific nutritional deficiency.
? Fatigue and poor sleep quality.
? Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and or diarrhea.
? Muscle cramps.
? Feelings of shame, guilt and low self esteem.
? Depressive, anxiety symptoms and behaviours.
? Nutritional and metabolic problems.
How to cope with eating disorder?
If you think you or your loved one is suffering from eating disorders – take help from your Local GP Doctor, who will help you and direct you to a Qualified Nutritionist and Qualified Psychologist/Psychiatrist.
Your health care team will help you to cope with a combinations of healthy eating behaviour therapy and help you understand this disorder in a better way.
Always consult your local GP Doctor, and Certified Nutritionists, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Certified Psychiatrists to help you under this condition in a better way.
It is very critical and important to see your Doctor and other health care professionals when you think you or your loved one has an eating disorders.
If Eating Disorders are not treated they can result into serious medical problems. Having an Eating disorder can severely interfere with your home life, work, and social life. It is very much important to take help.