Eating Disorders

By Peter Schulten and Ryan Leahy

How Many People Know Somebody Who has or has Had an Eating Disorder?

Eating Disorders are Greatly Affecting Young Lives.

What's an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorder is a daily struggle represented by millions of people across the world daily. According to KidsHealth.org, 1 or 2 in every 100 students will suffer with an eating disorder. It is estimated that half a million teenagers have an eating disorder in the United States as of 2010. Eating disorders range from a few different syndromes. Some disorders may force the victim to starve themselves (anorexia), some may cause the victim to eat at an unhealthy rate without stopping (Binge eating disorder). About half of people with eating disorders qualify for the criteria of depression as well.

Any range of disorders characterized by abnormal eating habits.


  • Binge Eating
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Pica
  • Ruminition Disorder

How is an Eating Disorder Treated?

The obvious goal within somebody that holds an eating disorder is to restore their original eating habits. Treatment options vary, they are nutritional counseling, medical care, psychotherapy and medications. Eating disorders are often a challenge to cure, and a large percentage of the time they are not able to be cured. Treating and curing the disorder can take days, months, or even years. Therapist for this situation are extremely expensive, and they are often difficult to come across. For example, in the state of Connecticut there are only three available therapist for an eating disorder.

Articles on Eating disorders

What is an Eating Disorder?

Explained by professionals.

Why are Eating Disorders so Unhealthy?

Eating disorders are obviously not healthy for the human body. However, some people that contain an eating disorder often don't stress it. The victim will often think it is a new healthy habit and it will make them feel and look better. That is incorrect on many levels. Eating disorders such as anorexia (self starvation) is not going to make them healthier. Not consuming any food throughout the day or just an extremely small amount of food will only make the victim very weak.

When the eating disorder begins, the body craves regular food and when it realizes after a short period of time, the body begins using extra body fat for food and nutrients. Within a short time period, the victim is extremely thin and the body has no more body fat to feed off of, which isn't even healthy in the first place. After this, the victims body starts feeding off of bone marrow, which can lead to a deadly physical illnesses.

For example, in extreme endurance sports that last for many days like the Tour De France. Athletes grow so thin with body fat percentage and their body starts feeding off of their bone marrow because they don't have enough time between stages to gain any weight.

Eating disorders are most definitely not healthy, they should not be practiced to look better or to feel better because the exact opposite will be shown.

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Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa (usually just called anorexia) is an eating disorder where the specific person that contracts the disorder starves themselves for long periods of time with very little amount of food.

Amount of Calories teenagers 14-18 need according to the USDA,


  1. Sedentary Teens - 2,000 - 2,400 Calories a day
  2. Moderately Active Teens - 2,400 - 2,800 Calories a day
  3. Active Teens - 2,800 - 3,200 Calories a day
  4. Teenage Athletes - 2,000 - 5,000 Calories a day

People who have anorexia often eat 100 - 300 calories a day, which is extremely low considering the amount of calories recommended for teenagers.


A frequently asked question is, "Do people with anorexia nervosa exercise?" The answer varies. Some people that have anorexia start out with normal exercise routines before they receive the disorder, and they later get over obsessive and stop eating as well. People on forums and other eating disorder websites report stories of close friends and family that are extremely healthy. The person exercises often and has a very strong body shape and healthy everything. They soon contract the anorexia disorder and continue the exercise. Their bones become tiny, and they become slower and weaker and they don't look healthy. People say that it is very unattractive then they see people with anorexia.


Anorexia is a huge problem within the United States. There are millions of people with the disorder and it has caused huge problems world wide as well. Anorexia is not something to be fooled around with or tried, it should be consulted with a doctor or somebody else immediately because of its life threatening symptoms and long term affects.

What Anorexia does to the Mind

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Binge Eating

According to Dictionary.com,

binge

binj/

informal

noun

  1. a short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess, especially drinking alcohol or eating.

    "he went on a binge and was in no shape to drive"


    synonyms:drinking bout, debauch; More

verb


  1. indulge in an activity, especially eating, to excess.

    "some dieters say they cannot help binging on chocolate"


    synonyms:overindulge, overeat, gorge; More


Binge eating is a rapid fire amount of eating in one sitting. Binge eating is a serious problem in countries that have obesity problems. It means to eat and eat and eat until you physically can't fit anything more in your stomach. Even when you're full, you'll still eat with this disorder. It can lead to serious obesity and have bad long term affects.


Binge eating isn't only dangerous because of the food and weight issues, but it can lead to other eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, where you make yourself vomit to get the extra calories you ate out of your system. It can lead to more serious issues and it is most definitely not something to be messed with.

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Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is similar to anorexia, but it is also completely different in a few ways. Bulimia is a disorder in which the victim finds ways to force out extra calories they eat from meals. Ways that people force food out can include;


  • Forced Vomit (Sticking finger down throat)
  • Periods of Starvation
  • Extreme exercise followed by Binge eating


Bulimia affects not only the physical body but it greatly affects the mental body as well. People that are bulimic may see themselves in the mirror and see themselves as obese. It can be triggered in numerous ways, and many tiny things like an insult can make somebody bulimic for the rest of their life. Patients can show signs of depression, guild, shame and possibly suicidal thoughts and attempts. According to the National Associate of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), eating disorders are categorized as the most serious mental illness around.


Americans are called fat and obese all around the world by a small population of people. From these peoples remarks, it causes several eating disorder cases in the Untied States. Insults cause many eating disorders within the U.S., and somebody calling somebody fat can be the cause of a life long eating disorder.


Bulimia isn't just randomly generated from an insult, it can be genetic as well. Scientists say it is not clear if it is based on genes or just environmental factors at home. However, they do say if one of your parents had an eating disorder, especially bulimia, you are more likely to generate this disorder within a period of time in your life.


The vast majority of people with eating disorders are women. However, the ANAD says that it is not just exclusive to women. Even though the difference is large, 15% of men of bulimia and anorexia patients are male. The two disorders are more common in women, and the reasons are unknown. If you were to be a doctor for eating disorders, the majority of patients you would have would be women, while the smaller percentage would be men.


Affects of Bulimia


  • Anemia
  • Low blood pressure and irregular heart rate
  • dry skin
  • ulcers
  • decreased electrolyte and dehydration
  • esophageal ruptures, from excessive vomiting
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • irregular periods
  • kidney failure

Pica

Among many eating disorders, Pica is among one of the most disturbing. It is similar to anorexia, but it is also completely different in many ways. Pica is a disorder in which somebody will eat things such as dirt, toothpaste, paper, and other household objects. It is often portrayed on reality TV shows, on things such as MTV's My Strange Addiction. Pica often found more in young children. Between 10% and 32% of children ages 1 to 6 have expressed signs of pica. Although Pica causes abnormal eating habits it does not have a single test that detects it.


Some of Pica's complications include...


  • Lead poisoning
  • Intestinal Blockage
  • Malnutrition
  • Infection


Medications can help reduce the abnormal eating behavior if pica is linked to a developmental kind of disorder. The successes of treatment varies. In some cases, the disorder goes away on its own. However, in other cases, treatment can take up to several months or even years before positive results breakthrough. Overall eating disorders seem to be on the decline.

Several pregnancies have even been linked to Pica.


Malnutrition

A case in which the body does not receive enough nutrients to remain healthy.

Rumination Disorder

Rumination disorder is a problem not a large percentage of people face that includes serious regurgitation. Regurgitation is the act of bringing food back up from the stomach and re-chewing it. Rumination disorder can either act alone as it's own disorder, or it can be added into other eating disorders. A common eating disorder rumination is found in is bulimia. However, or rumination disorder to be confirmed within somebody, the symptoms of rumination must continue for at least a month. It is often believed that eating disorders are a choice in some people, but eating disorders are in fact similar to diseases. They are almost incontrollable.