Mental Health

What is an eating disorder and when to worry?


Whenever we discuss health, weight loss, weight gain minor digestion problems are some common terms. Almost every individual experiences this every year. You must have heard people saying that

 ‘I think I need to lose weight’.

‘Am I too slim?’

People coin different opinions about their body without taking the help of the professionals and try to change the food habits accordingly. The obsession with food, body weight, body shape, and height may lead to irregular eating habits. There comes a risk of developing eating disorders.

Eating disorder is an illness characterized by irregular eating habits and a range of psychological conditions that can develop these habits. Eating disorders have some symptoms which are usually related to food habits. These disorders can be found in any age group irrespective of the gender. But it is more common in children, adolescence and young women. These are the disorders that may not be considered by people due to a hectic schedule. But a look at the statistics can make you realize the seriousness. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, more than 70 million people suffer from various eating disorders. There are various types of eating disorders worldwide. Some of them are listed below.


Obese boy who is overweight on a pink background. Free Photo

Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder in which an individual considers oneself as overweight. They are conscious to reduce their body weight. In fact, this makes them dangerously underweight. People with Anorexia try to reduce the intake of food, exercise more than the necessity, and try to control the weight gain. Such food habits for a long period can affect physical health significantly. Thus it becomes very important to take the help of medical professionals for the cure.

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Pica is an eating disorder in which the patient has exceptional eating habits. The person with Pica crave for non-food materials like chalk, ice, soil, paper, soap, etc. this is also one of the common disorders in children worldwide. This can be seen in all age groups from adults, adolescence to children. The habit of eating such non-food materials may result in Chronic stomach conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and even poisoning. If a child has such habits, then the parents should look after the child’s appetite and should take proper guidance from the medical professionals.


Weight loss concept Free Photo

Bulimia Nervosa is followed by the Bings with any type of food. In this, the person eats until the stomach becomes painfully full. In this disorder, the person loses control of eating. This leads to consuming the amount of food more than the necessity. Lack of proper amount of food affects the health similarly overeating can also lead to digestion problems. The person with Bulimia Nervosa may have normal weight or can be overweight.

If an individual is suffering from swollen salivary glands, inflammation, sour throat, and irritation of the gut then immediate treatment should be sought from the professionals. Sever effects of Bulimia may result in tooth decay, hormonal disturbance, electrolyte imbalance, and even hearth problems.


You might have seen a child being very choosy in having food.

‘The taste is not good.’

‘I don’t like its smell.’

children usually say this and avoid the food. This may start from childhood and persist into adulthood. The person with this disorder avoids having food by giving any silly reason. Restrictive intake of food, an insufficient amount of calories and nutrients results in weight loss and weakness. Due to the lack of vitamins growth of the body is stunted. Immunity power is affected which makes the child susceptible to various diseases.

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This is a disorder that is not very common. It is one of the newly found disorders. In this, an individual first eat the food then regurgitate, re-chews, and then re-swallows it or spits it out. This can be seen in children as well as adults. Adults may try to control this action as it is voluntary. It can be seen in the age of 3-12 months in infants and may not found as the child grows. Rumination disorder can result in a lack of nutrition, weight loss, and weak immunity power. Thus, therapy to cure this disorder should be taken if required.

Some of the common symptoms of eating disorders are:

  • Tantrums
  • Worry about body image
  • Excessive food intake
  • Reducing food portions
  • Weight loss
  • Poor growth
  • Thinning of hair
  • Digestion problems

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