Howie on Eating Disorders

Hey blog readers, it’s Howie Defranco and today we will be discussing eating disorders. Let’s start by saying they all include serious disturbance of eating behaviours and weight regulation. There are 3 main types of eating disorders and those are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder all of which are a hindrance on a persons health. Speaking psychological and physically these disorders are huge impacts to a person’s self esteem, confidence and health. In the same breath the eating disorders can be psychologically caused by those exact same things.

Anorexia is among the top psychiatric disorders relating to its mortality rate as it is a disease that makes you so obsessed with your weight you starve yourself. You start out small you don’t eat certain foods or you portion your meals and then it becomes an obsession. You constantly weigh yourself, carefully portion food and cut out certain foods that are helpful in a normal eating cycle.

Symptoms of anorexia include:
Extremely low body weight
Severe food restriction
Relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight
Intense fear of gaining weight
Distorted body image and self-esteem that is heavily influenced by perceptions of body weight and shape, or a denial of the seriousness of low body weight
Lack of menstruation among girls and women.
Thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
Brittle hair and nails
Dry and yellowish skin
Growth of fine hair all over the body (lanugo)
Mild anemia, muscle wasting, and weakness
Severe constipation
Low blood pressure, or slowed breathing and pulse
Damage to the structure and function of the heart
Brain damage
Multi-organ failure
Drop in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time
Lethargy, sluggishness, or feeling tired all the time
Infertility.

Then there’s Bulimia which is a huge obsession over weight where you binge eat uncontrollably and then compensate for it. This compensation can be regurgitating your food, excessively fasting, exercising, taking some laxatives or a combination. Most people who are bulimic are unhappy with their body, but manage to maintain their weight by doing this. It’s incredibly unhealthy as the body is not built to process and expel food at that rate.

Symptoms of bulimia include:
Chronically inflamed and sore throat
Swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw area
Worn tooth enamel, and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth as a result of exposure to stomach acid
Acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems
Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
Severe dehydration from purging of fluids
Electrolyte imbalance—too low or too high levels of sodium, calcium, potassium, and other minerals that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Finally there is binge eating disorder which unlike the previous two does lead to obesity as it does not involve controlling your weight. It does still include the extreme unhappiness with your body, but includes feelings of guilt and shame for eating. It is the uncontrollable urge to eat and eat vast quantities to feel better, which is followed by the above feelings. Usually this disorder not only leads to obesity but also can lead to cardiovascular disease and of course higher blood pressure.

There’s not much I can say personally about this topic, except that you know what how you look like doesn’t define who you are and people no matter their size can be beautiful.

Bibliography
N.p., n.d. Web. <https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders-new-trifold/index.shtml&gt;.

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