In a society that is so focused on outer beauty, eating disorders are unfortunately very common. For some, what starts as a simple diet can turn into a life-threatening condition that can cause permanent damage. Others with eating disorders consume too much food and face similarly dangerous health problems. Learn about the most common eating disorders and seek help if you think you might have a problem with the way you consume food.
Perhaps the most well-known eating disorder, anorexia is a mental disorder that causes a person to severely restrict the amount of food they eat. While many dedicated dieters cut calories, carbs, or fat, anorexics take these behaviors to the extreme. Not only do they strictly limit their food intake, they often show anxiety around food and refuse to eat in a group setting. Anorexics are typically underweight and may lose weight rapidly. This disease can lead to serious health consequences. In extreme cases, anorexia can even be fatal.
Like anorexics, people with bulimia go to extreme lengths to limit the number of calories their body absorbs. People with bulimia will binge-eat, or consume far more food than their body needs. Then, in order to rid their body of the excess food, they purge. Purging usually involves forcing oneself to vomit, but it can also involve overexercising or abusing laxatives. The binge/purge cycle is extremely harmful to the body. Unlike anorexia, bulimia is found in people of all different sizes. Because some bulimics are at a normal weight or may even be overweight, it can be harder to diagnose than anorexia. Many bulimics go to great lengths to hide their binge/purge tendencies from family and friends.
Binge eating disorder is a serious condition that has only recently begun to receive attention in the medical community. People with this disorder will consume far more food than their body requires. People with this condition will often eat without feeling hungry and continue to eat until they are physically uncomfortable. While people used to think that binge eating was simply caused by a lack of self control, doctors now understand that binge eating disorder is a serious medical condition that is just as dangerous as anorexia and bulimia.
People suffering from eating disorders often feel a great amount of shame and hide their condition from loved ones. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, you don’t have to face it alone. Working with a dietitian will help you take control of your food habits. Contact us today at (646) 760-3438 to schedule an appointment with Registered Dietician Traci Fields.