When healthy eating and a positive lifestyle are so important, it’s also crucial to understand the disorders that could impact them. Eating disorders are very easily missed by people who don’t know much about them, or their symptoms. Yet eating disorders have affected an estimate of 30 million Americans.
Furthermore, with the growing pressures of beauty and identity on young people through social media, eating disorders may become even more commonplace.
Here are six of the most common eating disorders to know about.
- Bulimia Nervosa
People suffering with bulimia have a fear of gaining weight. Rather than avoiding foods completely in order to avoid weight gain, bulimia sufferers will binge eat in excess and then purge their body by forcing themselves to throw up. This could be done after every single meal, or now and again.
This constant vomiting can also result in other health consequences, such as tooth decay and burning in the throat, all due to stomach acid.
- Binge Eating
Most people have felt as though they have overeaten or binged on unhealthy food items once in a while, but binge eaters will be unable to control their consumption and eat in excess constantly. This can then result in health problems like obesity, as binge eaters do not make themselves sick in the same way as bulimia sufferers following a food binge.
Binge eaters may even eat large amounts when they don’t feel hungry at all.
- Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia is a disorder that leaves sufferers severely underweight. It is a lot more than simply being underweight, however; it is mental turmoil over people believing that they are still overweight even when they are malnourished and extremely thin, and then doing more to prevent adequate food intake.
It’s important to note, however, that not all malnourished or underweight people are suffering from anorexia. There are many other reasons a person can be underweight or avoiding food, such as depression or swallowing disorders like dysphagia. While solutions exist for this, such as SimplyThick, anorexia will take more dedicated treatment.
- Rumination Disorder
This condition sees people regurgitating food they have already consumed, in order to either re-chew and re-swallow, or completely spit out. While this can be a common disorder in infants, adults can also suffer from it, too. This disorder can lead to weight loss and malnourishment, especially when adults suffering from it avoid eating altogether with others in order to hide their condition.
Those suffering from pica will have a craving for non-food items, and also eat said items. This could be hair, dirt and wool, along with cleaning products like soap and detergent.
Pica-sufferers will have compulsive cravings for non-nutritional items like these and constantly consume them. Understandably, pica can be extremely dangerous and may be fatal depending on the items consumed, and the amount of said item.
- Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
The final common eating disorder is ARFID, which usually develops in children. Those suffering from this disorder, whether adults or children, will either find a lack of interest in food, or struggle to eat because of problems with texture, smell or taste.