Eating Disorders

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Eating Disorders Eating disorders are devastating and harmful behavioral patterns that occur within people for numerous reasons. The three types of eating disorders I will be discussing include the three most common of the disorders: anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive over eating (known as binge eating). Though the disorders take physical damage on the body, they are not in fact physical illnesses. You cannot "catch" and eating disorder. Rather, they are mental issues that develop more frequently within females but do affect the male population somewhat as well. Anorexia is characterized by extremely low body weight and a distorted self body image accompanied with an intense fear of gaining weight. Extreme exercising is also commonly associated with anorexia. An anorexic may allow themselves any where from 100 to 1,000 calories a day. It is not food that turns them off however, it's the preoccupation with gaining weight. Food my in fact may be on their mind constantly. Some develop such obsessions with food that they will develop obsessions with cooking and preparing the foods… probably never even tasting them. An anorexic can lose at least 15% to as much as 60% of their normal body weight. Bulimia occurs with or without anorexia symptoms. Individuals with bulimia tend to binge eat then self induce vomiting. However, binge eating is sometimes not a component of bulimia. Individuals may eat normal amounts, and then excuse themselves to the bathroom. Another common trait is the use of laxatives, diuretics, and enemas in thoughts that it will excrete those calories. Bulimics are not necessarily underweight. Some are even over weight if not at a normal weight, and they almost always have a swollen appearance to their stomachs. Compulsive overeating is a disorder in which individuals overeat, often using food as an addictive substance. As others may turn to alcohol, drugs, or gambling to alleviate stress, compulsive overeaters turn to food. Food has many associations with comfort. Compulsive overeaters may feel empty inside, and turn to food to help them feel full. A binge can average from any where between 1,000 calories to 20,000, or even as low as 100 calories. An eating disorder can develop due to a number of reasons. It could be emotional and personality disorders, family pressures, a possible genetic tendency, not to mention... ... middle of paper ... ...s the tops of finger joints. The primary symptom of anorexia is major weight loss from excessive and continuous dieting. In women, menstruation would be infrequent or absent. The skin may be dry and covered with fine hair, and normal scalp hair may be thin. The feet and hands may be cold and sometimes swollen. The stomach is often bloated after eating. Thinking may be confused of slow, and the anorexic may have poor memory and lack of judgment. Most of all with these two disorders there is a distorted self body image involved. The anorexic or bulimic could look into a mirror and see a completely different body then their own. Any of these symptoms is a warning! Eating disorders are very scary and life threatening. Though figures say that they mostly occur with in teenage girls it could happen with any one. There is no one reason it happens either. Usually the patient with the disorder (mainly an anorexic or bulimic) will have an obsession with perfection and rituals. Though they are mental illnesses, treatment is available. Psychologically, as well as physically. If you suspect that someone you know has an eating disorder don't ignore it they are very dangerous!

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