Eating disorders impair the body’s normal functioning, causing long-term health concerns and significantly impacting social and emotional well-being. This article helps you to recognize the various types of eating disorders and the warning signs. Treatment options are also explained.
Paying attention to diet and exercise can effectively control weight. But if you find yourself constantly worrying about your weight and thinking about what you are or aren’t going to eat, you may have an unhealthy relationship with food. Sometimes eating disorders develop from obsessive attitudes about food and body image.
What is an eating disorder?
An eating disorder is a psychological condition that manifests itself in unhealthy eating habits. These habits fall on a continuum, from eating a healthy, balanced diet on one end, to serious eating disorders on the other end. Eating disorders have serious emotional and physical effects. However, with proper treatment, control and recovery is possible.
Eating disorders involve disturbances in eating, such as:
- not eating enough,
- repeatedly eating too much in a short period of time, or
- taking drastic measures to rid the body of calories consumed (purging through vomiting; overuse of diuretics or laxatives; excessive exercise; or fasting)
You might think that your efforts to control your eating are a healthy way to achieve the body you want, but if your eating habits consume your thoughts and dictate your social activities, things have gotten out of control. What may have started as a plan to lose a few pounds might have turned into an unhealthy eating disorder.