Gema is an 19-year old from Miami, FL. She loves reading and writing young adult fiction and claims to pass out in the presence of sterile wit.
When someone mentions the term “eating disorders,” many people assume that the person suffering from it aims to lose weight. A lot of people don’t talk about the eating disorders that have to do with weight gain. Here I will discuss both.
Eating Disorders Resulting In Weight Loss:
Anorexia Nervosa: It’s a result of self-starvation. The person (could be girl or boy of any age) is below the normal weight for their age and height by 85%. They have an intense fear of being fat. This is accompanied by a distorted body image. Think of it like a fun house’s mirror, except there’s nothing fun about it. No matter how thin they get, they always view themselves as fat. Their body also drops in body temperature. Their heart rate and blood pressure decreases. Their hair thins out. If it’s a girl, she’ll stop menstruating. This results in an electrolyte imbalance, which is usually fatal.
Bulimia Nervosa: This is a rather nasty cycle of binge eating and purging. The purging doesn’t always refer to self-induced vomiting, even if this is what bulimia is most known for. It also includes excessive exercising, strict dieting or fasting and an abuse of diet pills, laxatives and diuretics. Like people suffering from anorexia, they suffer from low self-esteem and worry about the shape of their bodies. However, their symptoms aren’t as obvious as anorexics. Many are average in weight. Their vomiting can result in tears in esophagus, tooth decay, broken blood vessels in the eyes among other things. Like anorexics, they can also die from electrolyte imbalance.
Eating Disorders Resulting in Weight Gain:
Binge Eating Disorder: This is when a person overeats. I’m not talking about “pigging out” and having to open the top button of your pants. This is a person compulsively eating everything in sight and not being able to stop. It’s like the mouth possesses the entire body and attacks food. They usually eat in secret. This is associated to a feeling of shame. The result is obesity. Unfortunately, this disorder is extremely difficult to detect due to its secrecy and denial.
Night Eating Syndrome: Besides being an eating disorder, it’s also considered a sleeping and mood disorder. The person won’t eat much during the day (morning anorexia). The majority of their calories are consumed after dinnertime. They wake up in the middle of the night and need to eat. This is associated to low self-esteem, depression and stress.
There are no quick remedies for eating disorders. Psychological, medical and nutrition professionals are needed. If you suspect that someone close to you suffers from an eating disorder, step in and help them out.
(Information from my nutrition professor Jorge Monserrate and http://www.webmd.com/)