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Eating Disorder: What it is and how to deal with it
Lifestyle

Eating Disorder: What it is and how to deal with it

Eating disorder to a layman is a mere lack of interest in food. However, it goes deeper than that. Eating disorders are severe health conditions that negatively affect one’s health and life.

Generally, an eating disorder means an obsession with body stature, weight, and looks, so much that it starts to influence one’s eating habits. It’s the constant thought of needing to eat more or less to achieve or maintain a particular body stature.

There are three main types of eating disorders. Namely, Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating.

Anorexia nervosa: it’s an eating disorder that involves severe obsession and fear of gaining weight. People suffering from this disorder are usually underweight, but they have that mental image of being overweight in their heads and are obsessed with trying not to add extra weight. They reduce food intake, practice too many exercises, restrict their diets and use any other possible means that help to prevent adding weight.

Eating Disorder: What it is and how to deal with it

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Bulimia nervosa: This is a severe eating disorder that involves consuming numerous meals at once and then trying to get rid of the already consumed meal. The individual involved then uses extreme means such as intentional puking, fasting, laxatives and exercises to get the food out of their body system. People who suffer from this disorder often indulge in self-blame and guilt for consuming large meals and its effect on their body weight.

Eating Disorder: What it is and how to deal with it

Image source: Pinterest

Binge-eating: This health condition is also characterized by eating a lot of food at a go or within a short period, but without trying to get rid of the consumed food through unhealthy means. Individuals who suffer from this condition feel a lack of control over their eating habits. They eat when they’re not hungry and cannot seem to stop themselves.

Eating Disorder: What it is and how to deal with it

Image source: Pinterest

Important signs to look out for  

  1. Skipping meals on purpose due to fear of adding weight,
  2. Excessive exercise while trying to keep in shape
  3. The constant fear of gaining weight
  4. Guilt or shame over eating habits
  5. Depression
  6. Fatigue
  7. Adopting a strict diet
  8. Mood swings

Ways to offer support for someone with eating disorder

The most important way to help a person with an eating disorder is to encourage them to open up and seek treatment from a health practitioner. However, they also require emotional support, encouragement, and understanding while they seek help. Below are a few ways to encourage and be there for them.

  1. Talk to them: it’s essential to encourage them with words whenever you can. Encourage them to make positive affirmations when it comes to their body. These positive affirmations will go a long way in helping them love and accept themselves,
  2. Be attentive: Allow them to express themselves and their emotions. Listen to their worries and complaints genuinely. They must feel loved, respected and supported. Remember to give them a hug when there’s a need,
  3. Outings: Include them in plans for social events. Make plans that include them and encourage them to show up.
Eating Disorder: What it is and how to deal with it

Image source:Pinterest

If not properly taken care of, eating disorders could be extremely dangerous and could cause a lot of health complications. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, or you know anyone who might be suffering from an eating disorder, please encourage them to seek help from a medical professional. It’s never too late to seek help.

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