Eating disorders are made up of psychological disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and lately developed compulsive overeating disorder. Although physical problems are seen at the forefront of eating disorders, it is more than likely that the underlying cause to these eating disorders is a spiritual condition and may need to be evaluated by a psychologist.
The main symptoms of anorexia nervosa are; a desire to be thin, extreme fear of gaining weight, deformities in the body image and changes in the menstrual cycle. The patient develops strange habits with the aim of losing weight. Up to half the patients lose weight by drastically limiting their entire food intake. Some of them excessively exercise. The other half of the patients has a strict diet, lose control now and again and stuff their faces, and then they throw up what they have eaten. Patients also take laxative and diuretic medicine. As a result the patient looses enough weight to put their health under risk. It is 20 times more commonly seen in women. It often starts in the teenage years and shows a peak at the age of 18.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that has many eating attacks followed by deliberate puking. The patient, as in anorexia nervosa, tries every method to get rid of all of their food and calories to obtain a thin figure. However differently, the patient with bulimia nervosa is slightly overweight or at a normal body weight.
What are the medical problems faced in eating disorders?
These diseases negatively affect most of the organs and their functions. Thus this creates many medical problems.
- Cardiovascular system: Increased blood pressure, heart rhythm deficiencies, increased pulse, dissolved heart muscle, electrolyte disorders are at the forefront of sudden cardiovascular diseases due to eating disorders.
- Digestive system: Damaged food pipe due to puking often, torn food pipe, swelling, constipation, intestinal disorders due to purgatives.
- Hormonal changes: Inconsistent periods and lack of periods
- Bones: Osteoporosis, brittle bones
- Teeth: Gum problems, cavities
- Iron deficiency and lack of the body’s immune system cells.
How can you help a loved one who is suffering from an eating disorder?
The best way you can help is by taking the patient to a psychologist and persuading them to take treatment. To delay this will make the disease more chronic and make recovery and treatment more difficult.