Eating disorders can affect anyone from any background. While the media portrays women as suffering from eating disorders, they are common in men as well. An eating disorder is defined as any abnormal eating that is detrimental to the body. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two of the best known eating disorders.
Eating disorders can be triggered by many situations. Peer pressure on young individuals is a large factor in childhood eating disorders. Other disorders, like pica and binge eating, seem to affect any person regardless of social status and childhood.
Treatment of eating disorders is very important, as prolonged suffering can cause a myriad of symptoms. They can include weight loss, weight gain, nutritional deficiencies, and death. If you think you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, contact your health care professional or mental health line for assistance.
Here are 10 different eating disorders with the symptoms they may show.
1. Anorexia Nervosa: Skipping Meals
Anorexia nervosa is one of the best known eating disorders. This is partly because of how outwardly telling the illness is. Individuals who have suffered from anorexia nervosa have telltale symptoms such as low body fat, poor skin and hair, and eventually organ failure. One sign of an anorexic person would be skipping meals. They may say that they have previously eaten or will eat shortly after seeing you, but that’s usually a lie. They may plan visits to be after lunch or dinner so they don’t have to share a meal with another person.
Another sign is their weight. People with anorexia nervosa strive to be much lighter than what’s considered a healthy, normal weight for their age and gender. On top of starving themselves or greatly limiting their food intake, they may exercise a lot – way more excessively and obsessively than they need to. According to the Mayo Clinic, anorexia nervosa is more about emotional issues than the actual food. Instead, people with this eating disorder associate being thin with self-worth.