How are eating disorders formed? What are treatment solutions to eating disorder related challenges? Find out here.
Eating disorders are persistent and unhealthy eating habits that affect an individual’s mental and physical health. It is a psychological and mental health condition that causes an individual to develop unhealthy eating habits. Individuals with this disorder have an unhealthy obsession with their body weight and the amount of food they consume. But what are the primary causes of eating disorders, and how can understanding that help create solutions to eating disorder related health risks?
Although the causes of eating disorders are not entirely known, some factors influence them in an individual. Research shows that several factors influence eating disorders – some of the primary factors will be detailed below.
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According to recent research, an inherited genetic and biological factor increases the risk of developing an eating disorder by 56%. Most individuals whose parents or siblings have anorexia nervosa are approximately four times more likely to develop anorexia than others. These same individuals are also ten times more likely to develop bulimia than others without eating disorders in their family history.
Research shows that approximately one-quarter of women diagnosed with insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetes tend to develop an eating disorder. These individuals often skip their insulin injections – which can be potentially fatal – hence the need for treatment solutions to eating disorder challenges.2
One of the common factors for an eating disorder is self-oriented perfectionism. These individuals often set unrealistic goals or high expectations for themselves. Also, they are often unsatisfied with their body image; therefore, they need to receive treatment solutions for eating disorders. The individuals tend to dislike their appearance and develop eating disorders because of their high body image dissatisfaction.3
People with a history of anxiety disorder tend to develop an eating disorder. Research shows that a significant number of people experiencing eating disorders and two third of people with anorexia have anxiety disorders. There is also weight stigma in society, leading to eating disorders and deter people from receiving solutions to eating disorder challenges. Other environmental factors are bullying, historical trauma, and ideal internalization.
Young women and teenage girls are more likely to develop eating disorders than young men and teenage boys. However, eating disorders are cut across all genders and age ranges. It often develops in the early 20s and teenagers. The treatment solutions to an eating disorder are also effective for all ages and genders.
Some other risk factors for eating disorders are:
Mental health conditions and eating disorders have a close relationship. Individuals with eating disorders have diagnoses that negatively affect their psychological and physical well-being. These individuals also have mental health conditions like substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. Eating disorders often impact various areas of mental health in the following ways:4
Individuals experiencing eating disorders are at risk of some co-occurring disorders, such as OCD and anxiety. However, these individuals can receive treatment solutions to eating disorder related challenges early. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, 97% of individuals treated for eating disorders were also diagnosed with one or several mental health disorders.
Also, 94% of individuals were diagnosed with depression, and 56% were diagnosed with anxiety disorder, both mental health conditions. Due to these stats, it is evident that mental health and eating disorders contribute to one another.
Eating disorders have a huge effect on mental health, and some of those effects can be life-threatening. It is one of the most lethal mental illnesses, and individuals experiencing this disorder can die from severe malnutrition. It is vital to seek immediate treatment from the right medical facility to address eating disorders.
Individuals with long-term eating disorders tend to develop side effects like dry skin, yellow skin, and brittle nails. Most individuals with eating disorders are more likely to have digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and stomach rupture. It also causes sudden cardiac arrest and congestive heart failure.
Some individuals may hide while eating to sustain their eating disorder. These individuals attempt to cover up any episode of vomiting that they experience. They also use laxatives to control and alter their weight. These individuals have erratic behaviors that disrupt their day-to-day life activities.
While none of these are a comprehensive “cure” for eating disorders, there are some healthy coping mechanisms that act as solutions to eating disorder challenges, including:
An eating disorder is complex, affecting all genders and ages. It is a severe condition that causes an individual to have an unhealthy perception of their body image. When treating this disorder, quick fixes are not an option; rather, seek professional help. You can begin your eating disorder healing journey by seeking professional help from eating disorder medical clinics such as Alternative Options.