The Causes of Eating Disorders and Their Symptoms

by Michael Russell - Date: 2007-01-26 - Word Count: 518 Share This!

Most people perceive people with eating disorders as having an obsession with food. However, this perception is just a myth because the real cause of eating disorders is usually a deeper psychological problem that a person has to deal with. Eating disorders can also occur in people who are suffering from physical or mental problems that cannot be dealt with appropriately. In this case, consulting a psychiatrist or a therapist can usually help a lot in preventing a person from developing eating disorders.

We cannot really know why eating disorders come as a result of physiological problems but there are some theories that link the relationship of food to the overall well-being of a person. The fact that eating disorders come as a consequence of both mental and physical problems should not be surprising, since the physical appearance of a person is very important in our society. In fact, people with thin bodies become highly regarded in society and this is seen as a tool to become accepted and loved.

There are many manifestations of eating disorders that people can experience. The first symptoms of eating disorders are usually binging, purging and even eating non-food items like pencil or paper. One eating disorder is anorexia nervosa. This is perceived to be the most common in our society mainly because of the publicity it attracts due to the many celebrities who suffer from it. Anorexia is basically associated with having an abnormally thin body. Normally, the victims of anorexia are teenagers because they are more conscious of their body image compared to more mature people.

Anorexia can manifest itself in various ways, including severe dieting, starvation, extreme exercising and even vomiting. Some people also often take dangerous weight loss pills to prevent weight gain. In addition, anorexia is particularly dangerous to the heart because it strains its normal functions, which can result in cardiovascular disease and endanger a person's life. Likewise, other body organs become weak from the lack of nutrients that enter the body; making the body unable to fight other diseases.

Another known eating disorder is bulimia nervosa. This is overindulgence in food and is accompanied by vomiting afterwards. While anorexia affects the heart, bulimia is a disorder that damages the digestive system. This is an equally dangerous eating disorder that can lead to death in severe cases.

A less detected, but still dangerous eating disorder is binge eating. Still another type of eating disorder is compulsive eating. Compulsive eating is known to afflict the most number of people among all the eating disorders but the symptoms of this condition are often very mild so it is not detected until the situation is severe.

You might have noted that eating disorders are categorized according to the symptoms. The reason for this is because categorizing the different kind of eating disorders make them easier for doctors to cure. It is essential that eating disorders be detected in their early stages to ensure that a person will not suffer from harmful long-term effects. Detecting eating disorders in their early stages will also prevent a person from needless suffering brought about by physical and mental anguish.

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