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Eating Disorders

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Eating disorders are a category of mental disorders. People with eating disorders have some type of problem with food. For example, they may under eat or vomit rapidly. There is some evidence that eating disorders have a genetic basis, but can also be triggered by environmental stressors. It has been suggested that eating disorders are a result of hormones and neurotransmitters in a persons body that regulate the activities of food intake and energy output. Some think it could be caused by endorphins in the body. One example of a common eating disorder is Anorexia Nervosa, which is characterized by an overwhelming dread of becoming fat. It is a restriction of calorie intake and considerable weight loss. There is an intense fear of gaining weight. An anorexic person is often very hungry, and they have a disturbed body image, but usually continue to see themselves as overweight, despite a large weight loss, and under nourishment. This may lead to hormonal disturbances, anemia, heart problems, and brittle bone and many other Problems. Some of which are life threatening. Another common eating disorder is Bulimia nervosa. This eating disorder is more common than anorexia and is more related to dieting. Bulimia is characterized by periods of compulsive binge eating, followed by forced vomiting or the use of laxatives or obsessive exercising. The most common misconception concerning bulimia is that it is simply a physical or mental problem. Many people do not understand that bulimia is a disease that affects both the mind and the body. Then you have another common eating disorder, which is more common than anorexia and bulimia, and is a much deeper problem than just over eating. Binge eating involves a large consumption of food without extreme behavioral attempts to vomit or extensive exercise as compensation. When a person has an episode, they will eat several thousand calories worth of food in one setting. They eat quick and in larger portions than a normal person would. They may feel depressed or guilty after overeating. Binge eating is not actually about eating, it is about filling a void and a way to deal with emotional issues that one feel they just cannot deal with. Although these three eating disorders are different, they can all be dangerous to ones health and they all require psychological intervention to get well.



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