Eating Disorder

Eating Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Eating disorders are diseases that cause people to have abnormal eating habits, cause serious problems in daily life, and cause great worries about their weight and body shape.

The most common types of eating disorders are: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa (which causes vomiting or taking laxatives after eating), and binge eating disorder (which does not cause vomiting or taking laxatives after eating.)

Eating disorders have many negative and sometimes life-threatening effects on health, such as malnutrition due to eating too little. The more severe the eating disorder, and the longer it is left untreated, the more likely it is that the person will develop the following serious problems:

  1. Serious medical problem
  2. Depression and Anxiety disorder
  3. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  4. Stunted growth and development
  5. Difficulty in socializing and interpersonal relationships
  6. Substance abuse
  7. Difficulties with work and school
  8. Die

Common symptoms of eating disorders

The symptoms of eating disorders vary depending on the type. The following is a list of common symptoms of eating disorders:

  1. Even if you are extremely underweight, you are still on a long-term diet.
  2. Weight may rise or fall suddenly, resulting in sudden changes.
  3. Feeling tired, dizzy or fainting easily.
  4. The hair is thinner.
  5. Being overly obsessed with the caloric and fat content of food.
  6. Have strange eating habits, such as cutting food into many small pieces, eating alone, or hiding food.
  7. Very insistent on food and cooking methods.
  8. Willing to cook exquisite dishes for others, but not willing to eat them himself.
  9. Go to the toilet frequently after meals.
  10. Suffering from depression or lethargy.
  11. Avoid social gatherings and deliberately isolate yourself.
  12. A constant cycle between overeating and dieting.

When should you see a doctor?

Many people with eating disorders believe that they do not need treatment. Therefore, if your relatives or friends experience the above symptoms, it is recommended to encourage them to seek medical examination.

In addition to eating habits, you should also pay attention to whether he has thoughts that may be harmful to his health; peer pressure may also trigger eating disorders. The following are warning signs of an eating disorder and it is recommended to seek medical attention when they occur:

  1. Will intentionally skip a meal or make excuses not to eat.
  2. Set yourself up to adhere to overly strict vegetarian principles.
  3. Over delving into healthy eating.
  4. Even if there is cooking at home, I will still cook food for myself instead of sharing it with everyone else.
  5. Avoid normal social activities.
  6. Constantly worrying and complaining that you are fat or need to lose weight.
  7. Keep looking in the mirror just to find out your shortcomings.
  8. Consistently eating a lot of sweets or fatty foods.
  9. Use nutritional supplements, laxatives, or traditional Chinese medicine to lose weight.
  10. Excessive exercise.
  11. The knuckles are calloused from using fingers to induce vomiting.
  12. Enamel damage may be caused by frequent vomiting.
  13. I often run to the toilet in the middle of eating.
  14. Eating larger than normal portions at meals or snacks.
  15. Express feelings of depression, disgust, shame, or guilt about one’s eating habits

If you have any of the above symptoms or have any questions, please consult your doctor. Everyone’s body is different. If you have other symptoms not listed, you can also consult your doctor.

Causes of eating disorders

The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown, but like other psychological problems, it may include:

  1. Genes:
    Especially among first-degree relatives, such as brothers, sisters or parents, there are also people with eating disorders.
  2. Psychological and emotional problems:
    such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, impulsive behavior, or difficulty with relationships.
  3. Culture:
    In mainstream society, success and worth are often equated with thinness. Peer pressure and mainstream media will also continue to reinforce ideas such as “thinness equals beauty” and “thin people only love you.”

Risk factors for eating disorders

The following factors increase your risk of developing an eating disorder:

  1. Women:
    Eating disorders are more common in young women, with a male to female ratio of approximately 1:10.
    Age: Patients are usually about 10 to 30 years old.
  2. Family history:
    People who have siblings or parents with eating disorders are more likely to develop the disease themselves.
  3. Mental illness:
    Such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  4. People who become popular after losing weight:
    Many people often receive praises from many people because of their successful weight loss and changes in appearance. Some people may implement more radical weight loss methods in order to gain more recognition from others, which may lead to eating disorders over time.
  5. Engaging in special activities:
    Many dancers or athletes will accidentally suffer from this disease while dieting because they need to maintain a special body shape.
  6. Pressure

Diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders

The following information is not a medical diagnosis. For further information, please consult a physician.

How are eating disorders diagnosed?

  1. Physical examination:
    A physical examination can confirm the patient’s current dietary status and whether it is caused by other diseases.
  2. Psychiatric evaluation:
    The doctor will ask the patient about his thoughts, feelings and eating habits, and the patient may also be asked to fill out a questionnaire.
  3. Other:
    Physicians may perform other tests to check for complications related to eating disorders and to confirm the patient’s nutritional status.

How are eating disorders treated?

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy or family therapy:
    Helps patients learn to maintain healthy eating habits.
  2. Hospitalization:
    Severe medical conditions, such as severe malnutrition caused by anorexia, may require hospitalization.
  3. Medication:
    Eating disorders are often associated with depression and anxiety. If this is the case, doctors will prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications to treat the patient.

Life adjustment and home therapy for eating disorders

The following methods may help combat eating disorders:

  1. Follow the diet plan established with your doctor and do not miss any counseling sessions.
  2. If you are malnourished, you can ask your doctor for appropriate nutritional supplements.
  3. If there are people around you who understand you and express concern for you, please try not to avoid them.
  4. You can discuss with your doctor the type and amount of exercise that is suitable for you.
  5. Read articles or books that can help with eating disorders and try the suggestions.
  6. Resist the constant urge to weigh yourself or look in the mirror, as doing so will only create more negative emotions that affect your eating. If you have any other questions, please consult your physician.

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