Eating Disorders





There are many different types of eating disorders in our world today and many suffer from them. Young women, and the reason is unknown, are the main targets. I believe young women are more apt because of the ideal media, newspapers, magazines, etc. That\'s what they feel they need to live up to, and also they are more emotional and are in that stage of life where things like this matter a lot. There are two very common eating disorders: anorexia and bulimia.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by a person with a body weight less than 85% of what is considered normal weight. Anorexics have a fear of being fat. Anorexics limit their food intake. People who are anorexic continue to diet even when they are bone thin; they are never satisfied with their appearance. They engage in excessive exercising and long depressions; these are just some of the danger signals that anorexics show. This self-starving behavior can lead to severe emancipation or even death.
Anorexics see normal fat (folds of flesh) on the body as fat that needs to be eliminated. They often find sleeping and resting a discomfort because they have lost their normal body fat. A victim of this serious disorder tends to further themselves from family and friends; they want to be isolated. There are many dangers from starving yourself: the body tends to slow down or even stop certain body processes, blood pressure may fall, breathing rate may drop, and menstruation also stops. The thyroid gland disappears, and this is the gland that regulates growth. Nails and hair become brittle, skin is dry, light headiness, constipation, and there is swelling of the joints. When fat is reduced, the body temperature begins to fall and soft hair forms on the body for warmth. The body chemicals may also be so imbalanced heart failure may occur.
People who suffer from bulimia nervosa also want to be thin, but they do it in a different fashion called binging and purging. Binging is when a people will eat a bunch of food, exceeding normal calorie intake. Purging is the way they get rid of it. This way they are still able to eat and then still be thin, but this is very dangerous and can often be deadly. A person is suffering from bulimia if they have a dramatic loss of weight in a short period of time. The normal calorie intake for normal eaters is 2,000 to 3,000 calories in one day. The average bulimic will usually average 3,400 calories in 1 1/4 hours.
For bingers, to loose this is by either using laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or even just gagging themselves with their fingers. This will also upset the body’s balance of chemicals, which may cause fatigue, seizures, irregular heartbeats, and thinner bones. If purging continues to persist, this may damage the stomach or esophagus, the gums will begin to recede, and it will erode tooth enamel. Some effects also show skin rashes, broken blood vessels in the face, and irregular menstrual cycles.
With most eating disorders females are more affected than men. Anorexics and bulimics are often known to be perfectionists and when they don’t perform excellent in something, they punish themselves with starvation, binging, or purging. People with eating disorders often have mood swings, lack of motivation, hopelessness, feelings of anxiety, panic attacks, claustrophobia in crowded places, and isolation and loneliness. All of these symptoms are suicidal. They may have frequent headaches; this is due to low blood pressure and decreased oxygen supply to the brain. Most are always cold because the insulation layer of fat is lost or there is decreased circulation due to the lowered blood pressure and slow heart rate, and also the metabolism is slowed down. There is a tingling sensation in the hands, feet, and face due to vitamin deficiency, mainly potassium.
Victims don’t have to look like they are underweight or even “average” to suffer from any signs and symptoms of eating disorders. It doesn’t mean they suffer less or are in less danger. A close family member or friend you know may suffer from one of these eating disorders. Make sure you let them know in a caring, nonjudgmental way that they need help. Encourage them