What is an eating disorder? What risks does it pose to your health? Many factors can cause eating disorders health risks. Learn more here.
Eating disorders have devastating consequences for those with the disorder. These disorders cause unhealthy eating behaviors, leading to physical and psychological problems. Biological, psychological, and environmental factors can cause eating disorders health risks. All eating disorders have one thing in common: they pose a significant risk to a person’s health. The most common type of eating disorders include but are not limited to:1
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This type of eating disorder causes life-threatening physical and psychological issues. This disorder causes a distorted body image and an exaggerated fear of weight gain. Often referred to as anorexia, it is a severe but treatable eating disorder. Due to the fear of weight gain, anorexics engage in extreme dieting.2
The disorder affects all genders, but females have a higher chance of developing an eating disorder. Statistics have shown that females outnumber males with the disorder at a ratio of 10 to 1. However, an eating disorder can impact anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race, or other circumstances. Eating disorders health risks can take a toll on anyone and should not be underestimated.
The eating disorders health risks associated with anorexia include:3
This type of eating disorder causes episodes of binge eating followed by purging. Purging happens through self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives. Bulimia nervosa causes a lack of control over overeating during binge episodes. It causes individuals with the disorder to eat large amounts of food even when they are not hungry. The guilt from overeating causes them to isolate themselves when eating.
Symptoms of bulimia include weight fluctuations, sore throat, acid reflux, and dental problems. There are several eating disorders health risks of bulimia nervosa, and they include:
Binge Eating Disorder is a disorder attributed to recurrent episodes of binge eating. It causes a person to consume excessive food without control. People with BED eat without control even when they are not hungry. They also eat alone because they feel guilty and embarrassed about eating.
OSFED is a category of eating disorders that do not meet the diagnostic criteria for other known eating disorders. Some examples of OSFED include atypical anorexia, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.4
OSFED can have serious eating disorders health risks, like other eating disorders. People with OSFED may experience weight fluctuations and heart disease, and diabetes. OSFED can also cause acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome.
ARFID is an eating disorder that explains a persistent failure to meet nutritional and energy needs. Unlike other eating disorders, such as anorexia, ARFID does not involve a distorted body image or a desire to lose weight.
People with ARFID avoid certain foods or food groups based on sensory characteristics like texture, taste, or smell. They also have an aversion to specific foods due to a negative experience, such as choking or vomiting. As a result, they may restrict their food intake to the point where they are not getting enough nutrients.
ARFID can pose significant eating disorders health risks if left untreated. People with ARFID may experience malnutrition, constipation, and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. People with ARFID may experience anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders. They may also have difficulty socializing or participating in activities that involve food.
Effective treatment for eating disorders involves a combination of therapy and medication. Therapy helps eating disorders by helping people identify and change the negative thoughts and behaviors contributing to binge eating.
Eating disorders may complicate a person’s physical and psychological well-being. If you or a loved one has an eating disorder, you should get help. Getting help for an eating disorder is not a shameful thing. It is the bravest thing to do. At Alternative Options, we offer different treatment methods for eating disorders. You are our utmost priority, and we would love to see you improve. Contact us today.