Eating Disorders types, symptoms, & treatments

Eating disorders are a common problem with an increasingly early onset. According to various studies, one in every 250 adolescents, also boys, will have some eating problems. It will also start at 13 or 14 years old, much earlier than a few years ago. The best known is anorexia, a fatal disease if not detected early and treated adequately.

Types of disorders

Today’s society imposes a canon of beauty that in many cases does not correspond to the majority of people’s bodies. Skinny girls and boys, almost skeletal, parade through the catwalks of half the world and flood the advertisements of essential brands. They are the role model of many adolescents who consider that the idea is to be very thin. And that’s when eating disorders appear. Although there is some more known than others, we list the most frequent.

Anorexia. Significant weight loss is caused by the person himself, who exaggeratedly controls food intake not to gain weight, even taking products to suppress appetite or laxatives. There is a mental disorder that makes the person who suffers focus their efforts on losing weight. Those who suffer from this pathology have a distorted view of their body. It is a disease that, above all, is associated with adolescent girls. But more and more children and adults suffer from it.

Bulimia. People with this disease eat foods with a lot of calories voraciously, and then, faced with an immense feeling of guilt, they make themselves vomit in order not to gain weight.

Orthorexia. The pathology is based on the obsession to eat healthily. It is generally suffered by those who do a lot of sports and want to have a body ten. They tend to stop eating foods such as red meat, fat, sugar, and dairy.

Bigorexia. Disorder in which the person does not end up with enough muscle mass, despite constantly exercising. They usually take protein and anabolic supplements.

Potomania. An obsession to drink water regularly. Those who suffer from it can consume up to 4 litres a day. Filling the stomach with fluids is another way to restrict eating, linked to anorexia and bulimia.

Pregorexia. A disorder that happens to pregnant women who do not want to gain weight. Food is prohibited, putting the baby’s life at risk as well.

Symptoms of eating disorders

The exact cause of these disorders is unknown, but psychological, social, cultural, and genetic factors play a role. It is known that some people may have suffered from anxiety disorders since childhood, are very perfectionists or have had problems with eating since childhood, among other symptoms. It is essential to pay attention to the signals to take action as soon as possible. Some of them are:

  • Lose weight significantly
  • Obsessing overeating and being slim.
  • Weigh yourself many times.
  • Drink water constantly
  • Eat tiny servings.
  • Avoid foods that contain fat or dairy.
  • Exercising excessively
  • Avoid celebrations that revolve around food.
  • Being dissatisfied with your body
  • Always go to the bathroom after meals
  • Buy laxatives frequently.

Consequences of eating disorders

Eating disorders have severe consequences by leading to significant health problems, such as malnutrition. They affect in different ways, although the most common are:

  1. Loss of hair
  2. Absence of menstruation in women (amenorrhea)
  3. Frailty, dizziness
  4. Stomach ache
  5. Anemia
  6. Loss of potassium, which can lead to heart problems
  7. Emotional problems, aggravated by stress

Treatment of eating disorders

When caught early, these eating disorders can be treated. Helping those who suffer to eat more and better is a complicated task, but possible. Of course, it is essential to work with a multidisciplinary team, in which there are psychiatristspsychologists, endocrinologists or dietitians.

Family therapy helps in the recovery of those who suffer from a disorder of these characteristics. Parents and siblings play an important role in supporting work. These disorders are pervasive in adolescence, a complicated time in any person’s life, so the patient mustn’t feel like a freak. The objective is that the person is satisfied with their weight and accepts their body.