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Eating Disorders

Overview
Eating is very important in every human being. Not only that it is necessary for survival but it is also a social activity and has been part of many occasions all around the world. For some individuals, eating is one source of their worries, anxiety and problems.
Many people are worried and apprehensive about how they look. Most of the time, they can feel self-conscious about their bodies. Amongst the population, the teens are the ones most concerned about their body figure. This can be true, especially that they are going through puberty and they undergo dramatic physical changes and face social pressures.

Definition
Eating disorders refer to a group of conditions that are described and typified by the abnormal eating habits that are involved. The food intake in this case are either insufficient or excessive that results to detriment of an individual’s physical and emotional health.

List of Common Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia Nervosa (AN). AN is a life-threatening eating disorder. It is characterized by the client’s refusal or inability to maintain a minimally normal weight and an intense fear of gaining weight. Clients with anorexia nervosa have a disturbed perception of the size and shape of their body. These people have body weight that is 85% or less of that expected for their age and height. Anorexia can cause menstruation to stop, and often leads to bone loss, loss of skin integrity, etc. It greatly stresses the heart, increasing the risk of heart attacks and related heart problems. The risk of death is greatly increased in individuals with this disease.
  • Bulimia Nervosa. Bulimia is characterized by recurrent binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors such as purging (self-induced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives/diuretics, or excessive exercise). The amount of food consumed during a binge episode is quite larger than a person would normally eat. Bulimics may also fast for a certain amount of time following a binge. Clients with bulimia binge because of strong emotions which are then followed by guilt and shame.
  • Binge Eating Disorder. This type of eating disorder is characterized by a compulsive overeating. However, unlike bulimia nervosa no compensatory behavior is noted after the binge episode.
  • Purging Disorder. Individuals who are eating normally but are recurrently purging to promote weight loss are under this category.
  • Pica. Individuals who cannot distinguish between food and non-food items have PICA. In this type of eating disorder, a person is craving to eat, chew or lick non-food items or foods containing no nutrition. These things include chalk, paper, plaster, paint chips, baking soda, starch, glue, rust, ice, coffee grounds and cigarette ashes.

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