Eating Disorders

There were times when people were happy to eat, drink and be merry. Life was not so difficult. People were not so bothered by their looks. Inner beauty was given precedence to the outer beauty of the person but in current artificial world lot of emphasis is given to the outer looks of a person. Pick up any magazine, TV show, commercial or movie; we are bombarded with today’s beautiful women who definitely look very different from the women of the past. They represent the extreme standards portrayed by media and fashion industry as “sexy “and “beautiful”. This puts an extra burden on people (mostly women) to look a particular way. People various extreme methods of diet or stave them to look thin.

What is an Eating Disorder?

It is an illness which is characterized by irregular eating patterns and distress caused due to concern for body weight or shape.
Eating disturbances can involve inadequate or excessive food intake resulting in a damage on individual’s well-being.. Common forms of eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder that affect both males and females alike.
Although these disorders are treatable, the overall consequences can certainly be detrimental or even deadly, when left unaddressed. These disorders are generally accompanied with other psychological disorders

Common types of Eating Disorders are as under:

Anorexia Nervosa-

The individual suffering from anorexia nervosa will be obsessive about her/his weight, they would typically refuse to maintain healthy body weight. They carry an unrealistic perception about body image. They limit the quantity of food intake. They always feel they are fat even when they are not.

Bulimia Nervosa-

The people suffering from this disorder get involved in repeated episodes of binge eating followed by actions that would compensate their overeating like forced vomiting or excessive use of laxatives or diuretics. The individuals suffering from this disorder are also obsessive about body weight and shape. This alternate cycles of binge eating and forced removal of food from body may give rise to gastrointestinal problems, dehydration, and heart problems due duress and strain on body and electrolyte imbalance.

Binge Eating Disorder-

Individuals with Binge Eating Disorder generally lose control on their eating. This condition is different from bulimia nervosa as here the episodes involving binge-eating are not immediately followed alternate cycles of purging, fasting, or excessive exercise. Therefore, BED patients may be obese and they are at risk of developing other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease.

Treatment for an Eating Disorder

Due to the severe and complex nature of such conditions a comprehensive and professional treatment is the only option to render healing.

Treatment may include the following with the help of doctors, therapists and nutritionist all included for the complete care:

Medical Care and proper Monitoring-A professional intervention is highly warranted for treating such conditions.

Nutrition:

This will include a complete and exhaustive meal plan prepared by expert nutritionist.
Therapy: Different forms of psychotherapy to address accompanying psychological conditions is required to pull back a person back to their normal state

Medications:

Medicines as prescribed by expert doctors are required to be administered at regular intervals.
Varying levels of treatment, ranging from outpatient support groups to inpatient treatment centres, are available and based on the severity of the eating disorder. In any case, recognizing and addressing the eating disorder are crucial in being able to begin treatment.

It is sad to note that unrealistic beauty standards are becoming so severe that many lives are getting ruined due to them. We should be careful enough to not get entangled in such a trap. Moreover if we see someone getting affected by such disorders immediate help along with counselling should be immediately sought.

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