What is an Eating Disorders?
Anyone can suffer from eating disorders, regardless of age or gender. They may present themselves in various ways and come in many forms. All eating disorders, however, are characterised by an unhealthy relationship with food.
Eating disorders can cause individuals to become fixated on their weight and physical appearance, even if they are healthy. It can lead to compulsive over or under-eating, and the person's entire life may become consumed by their food habits, leading to serious health problems.
There are treatments available to assist you in managing and recovering from your eating disorder. Your initial step in seeking help should be to consult with a doctor.
Symptoms of Eating Disorders
You might be dealing with an eating disorder if you:
- Limit your food intake or overeat.
- Find it challenging to eat in social settings and resort to secretive eating.
- Spend excessive time preoccupied with your weight and body appearance.
- Induce vomiting after meals or use unnecessary laxatives.
- Engage in excessive exercise to counteract calorie consumption.
- Enforce strict dietary rules.
- Experience significant anxiety related to eating.
- Frequently compare your body to others.
- Frequently weigh or measure yourself.
Additionally, you might also:
- Experience persistent cold sensations.
- Frequently suffer from dizziness.
- Battle with persistent fatigue.
- Encounter difficulties in maintaining concentration.
- Exhibit irritability.
- Harbour feelings of guilt.
- Observe cessation of menstrual periods.
- Experience symptoms of depression.
- Grapple with anxiety.
- Feel a lack of control.
- Encounter digestive issues.
- Prioritise your eating habits above all else.
What are the most common types of Eating Disorders?
Various eating disorders exist, each characterised by its unique set of symptoms. Some of the prevalent eating disorders include:
Anorexia nervosa: In this condition, individuals resort to extreme measures to maintain a low weight, such as severe calorie restriction, minimal food intake, or excessive exercise.
Bulimia: This disorder involves cycles of under-eating followed by binge-eating episodes, often followed by attempts to eliminate consumed food rapidly through vomiting, laxative use, or excessive exercise to control weight.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED): People with BED frequently eat a large amount of food at once and may feel a lack of control over these episodes, often experiencing guilt afterwards.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED): This diagnosis is given when an individual's symptoms do not align with the criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or BED.
It's worth noting that individuals with eating disorders may not always recognise their condition, and it is often friends and family who first notice the signs.
Should I Consult a Doctor?
If you suspect you have an eating disorder or are uncertain, contact a doctor promptly. They will inquire about your symptoms and their impact on your daily life. Your doctor will seek information regarding your eating patterns, medical history, weight, and emotional well-being.
If they determine that you may be suffering from an eating disorder, they will refer you to a specialised team for further assistance.
In such cases, it's advisable to consult your doctor, as they can conduct a physical examination if necessary. However, if you require someone to talk to or seek guidance, our doctors can listen and confidently assist you with your next steps.
What Triggers Eating Disorders?
Understanding the origins of eating disorders is not straightforward, as they often stem from individualised factors. Some potential causes include:
- Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.
- Traumatic life experiences like abuse.
- Body-related criticism or being labelled as "fat."
- Coping with grief or loss.
- Stressors from work or school.
- Social influences, including those from social media.
- A family history of eating disorders or other genetic factors.
- Personal traits and characteristics.
How do I help someone with an Eating Disorders?
If you suspect that someone you're close to, whether a family member or friend, might be grappling with an eating disorder, you should have a caring conversation with them to express your concerns.
They may be in denial or feel considerable shame about their condition, so it's crucial to approach the subject with sensitivity. You can encourage them to consult with a doctor, but remember to do so gently and compassionately.
What’s the Treatment for an Eating Disorders?
Various treatment options are available for addressing eating disorders, and the specific approach depends on your diagnosed type and symptoms. Your specialist team will devise a personalised treatment plan tailored to your requirements.
Possible treatments may encompass:
- Psychotherapy, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
- Access to self-help programs accessible online.
- Participation in group therapy.
- Medication as deemed necessary.
- Hospital-based care if required.
- Nutritional guidance.
It's important to note that there is a range of treatment modalities, and your specialist team will recommend the most appropriate ones for your situation. With the proper support, recovery from an eating disorder is achievable. Connect with one of our doctors at
Mobi Doctor, with the click of a button and receive the care you require.