It is a mental illness that can affect people at any stage of life, regardless of gender. Eating disorders have many different forms and types. However, the connecting feature is that they express themselves through a harmful relationship with the food.
The person suffering from an eating disorder will be constantly worried about the appearance and weight even if they are perfect. In eating disorder, people may under eat, overeat and become obsessed with the eating pattern. An inappropriate eating pattern can make you ill and can take over your life.
However, there are treatments available that can help you to overcome and manage your eating disorder. Our GP can help you in dealing with this problem.
Symptoms of Eating disorders
Symptoms of Eating disorders
You may have an eating disorder if you:
- feel very anxious about eating
- spend a lot of time worrying about what you weigh and how your body looks
- have stringent rules around what you can and can't eat
- restrict what you eat or eat too much
- weigh or measure yourself a lot
- do too much exercise to burn off excess energy
- make yourself sick after eating, or take laxatives when you don't need them
- compare your body to other people's a lot
- struggle to eat in a social situation and eat in secret
You might also:
- feel out of control
- have digestive problems
- find it hard to concentrate
- be irritable
- feel anxious
- feel cold a lot of the time
- notice your periods stop
- think that your eating habits are more important than anything else
- feel guilty
- feel depressed
- get dizzy regularly
- feel very tired
Common types of Eating Disorder
There are many different types of eating disorders and have their own symptoms and indications. The most common eating disorders include:
- Bulimia - you may under-eat for a while, then dramatically binge eat before attempting to get rid of the food as quickly as possible by vomiting or taking laxatives. You may also spend too much time exercising to help keep your weight down.
- Binge eating disorder (BED) - you will regularly eat large amounts of food in one sitting and feel that you have no control over this habit and feel guilty afterwards.
- Anorexia nervosa is when you take extreme measures to keep your weight down, such as not eating or only eating very little or spending an unhealthy amount of time exercising.
- Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) - if you don’t meet the criteria of anorexia, bulimia or BED, you may be given this diagnosis.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder, you may not recognize it on your own. It may be friends and family that will notice it.
Should I visit GP
You believe that you are suffering from an eating disorder. Even if you are not sure, you should consult a doctor immediately. They will ask about your symptoms and how they are affecting your daily routine. The doctors will also ask about your medical history, eating habits, weight and the way you are feeling.
If the doctors identify that you have an eating disorder, they will refer you to a specialist for further treatment or help.
It is advised to visit GP in this case, as they will inspect you physically if they feel the need. Moreover, if you are looking for someone to speak to or you need any advice, our doctors can help and will listen to your problems carefully.
Causes of Eating disorders
It is difficult to identify the causes of the eating disorder. The reasons for eating disorders differ from person to person.
Causes may include:
A traumatic life experience, such as being abused
A response to grief or loss
A mental health issue such as depression, anxiety or low self-esteem
Social pressure, such as social media
Being called fat, or being criticised about your body
Your personality and the traits you have
Stress at work or school
A family history of eating disorders, or other biological factors
How to help someone with the Eating disorder
If you think any of your friend or a family member have an eating disorder, it is a good idea to talk to them about that to make them feel that you are concerned. People with such disorder are usually in denial and feel ashamed due to their condition, so it is important to be kind to them. You can also encourage them to visit GP, but again, deal gently with them.
What’s the treatment for an eating disorder?
There is a wide range of treatments available for an eating disorder. Still, the treatment depends on the type of disorder you are diagnosed with and the kind of symptoms. Our team of specialist will provide you with a unique treatment plan according to your needs.
The treatment may include:
- Talking therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Group therapy
- Nutritional help
- Self-help programmes that are available online
- Hospital treatment