Eating Disorders

I hope you do not qualify as one of the people I am about to describe. Someone with an eating disorder. If you know someone who has been afflicted, you might mistakenly believe it to be a lifestyle choice. Perhaps some mild forms for example not wanting to eat vegetables may qualify as so. However, a doctor would tell you that a clinical eating disorder is serious and can prove fatal.

Anorexia nervosa occurs when people see themselves as overweight even when they are not or worse when they are underweight. People in the fashion industry have been known to suffer from this as job pressures, and social influences force them to wish to remain dangerously thin. Children are also vulnerable. Such people end up restricting their meals and carry a distorted self-image. The consequences can be bone damage, brittle hair, and skin, low blood pressure, brain damage, low temperature and organ failure.

Bulimia nervosa occurs when people have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating large amounts of food, regardless of their level of hunger. Excessive eating is often followed by forced throwing up, fasting or exercise to compensate for the diet. Bulimia can cause inflammation, acid reflux, digestive disorders, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance.

Binge eating occurs when you lose control over what you eat. Unlike bulimia, you do not compensate for the excessive consumption and end up gaining massive amounts of weight and all its related symptoms such as inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and organ failure.

An eating disorder especially if it is severe has to be treated clinically. Treatment can include therapy to identify the cause. Sometimes, you may be given medication to stabilize your mood. In some cases, people are admitted to a hospital to balance their electrolytes. The key is to identify your condition as a medical problem and seek the help that you likely need. Sometimes, even food can be a problem.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

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