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Health Forum The place to discuss health-related issues. This board is for informal discussions only; for personal medical concerns, see your doctor.

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Default Eating Disorders - 01-23-2007, 07:14 AM

To clarify; any unhealthy relationship with food counts as an eating disorder, not just starving yourself. That's one, but it's not the only one. If you have an eating disorder, tell someone immediately so you get help; if you don't want to admit it, then listen to what ppl are telling you. A lot of the time, having an eating disorder goes hand in hand with self denial. The first step to getting better is to admit you have a problem and tell someone.

Types Of Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia is characterized by a significant weight loss resulting from excessive dieting. Most women and an increasing number of men are motivated by the strong desire to be thin and a fear of becoming obese. Anorexics consider themselves to be fat, no matter what their actual weight is. Often anorexics do not recognize they are underweight and may still "feel fat" at 80 lbs.

Anorexics close to death will show you on their bodies where they feel they need to lose weight. In their attempts to become even thinner, the anorexic will avoid food and taking in calories at all costs, which can result in death. An estimated 10 to 20% will eventually die from complications related to it.
Anorexics usually strive for perfection. They set very high standards for themselves and feel they always have to prove their competence. They usually always put the needs of others ahead of their own needs.

A person with anorexia may also feel the only control they have in their lives is in the area of food and weight. If they can't control what is happening around them, they can control their weight. Each morning the number on the scale will determine whether or not they have succeeded or failed in their goal for thinness. They feel powerful and in control when they can make themselves lose weight. Sometimes focusing on calories and losing weight is their way of blocking out feelings and emotions. For them, it's easier to diet then it is to deal with their problems directly.

Anorexics usually have low self-esteem and sometimes feel they don't deserve to eat. The anorexics usually deny that anything is wrong. Hunger is strongly denied. They usually resist any attempts to help them because the idea of therapy is seen only as a way to force them to eat. Once they admit they have a problem and are willing to seek help, they can be treated effectively through a combination of psychological, nutritional and medical care.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is characterized by a cycle of binge eating followed by purging to try and rid the body of unwanted calories. A binge is different for all individuals. For one person a binge may range from 1000 to 10000 calories, for another, one cookie may be considered a binge. Purging methods usually involve vomiting and laxative abuse. Other forms of purging can involve excessive exercise, fasting, use of diuretics, diet pills and enemas.

Bulimics are usually people that do not feel secure about their own self worth. They usually strive for the approval of others. They tend to do whatever they can to please others, while hiding their own feelings. Food becomes their only source of comfort. Bulimia also serves as a function for blocking or letting out feelings. Unlike anorexics, bulimics do realize they have a problem and are more likely to seek help.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is characterized by consuming large quantities of food in a very short period of time until the individual is uncomfortably full. Binge eating disorder is much like bulimia except the individuals do not use any form of purging (i.e. vomiting, laxatives, fasting, etc.) following a binge. The food consumed doesn't even have to be anything the sufferer even likes, or even tasty; it just has to be food. Therefore, a sufferer could eat 5 loaves of bread, or even eat large quantities of tomato ketchup or mustard.

Individuals usually feel out of control during a binge episode, followed by feelings of guilt and shame. Many individuals who suffer with binge eating disorder use food as a way to cope with or block out feelings and emotions they do not want to feel. Individuals can also use food as a way to numb themselves, to cope with daily life stressors, to provide comfort to themselves or fill a void they feel within. Like all eating disorders, binge eating is a serious problem but can be overcome through proper treatment.

Compulsive Eating Disorder

Compulsive eating disorder is characterized by uncontrollable eating and consequent weight gain. Compulsive overeaters use food as a way to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and daily problems. The food can block out feelings and emotions. Compulsive overeaters usually feel out of control and are aware their eating patterns are abnormal. Like bulimics, compulsive overeaters do recognize they have a problem.

Most people who become compulsive eaters are people who never learned the proper way to deal with stressful situations and used food instead as a way of coping. Fat can also serve as a protective function for them, especially in people that have been victims of sexual abuse. They sometimes feel that being overweight will keep others at a distance and make them less attractive. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, there is a high proportion of male overeaters.

The more weight that is gained, the harder they try to diet and dieting is usually what leads to the next binge, which can be followed by feelings of powerlessness, guilt, shame and failure. Dieting and bingeing can go on forever if the emotional reasons for the bingeing is not dealt with.

In today's society, compulsive overeating is not yet taken seriously enough. Instead of being treated for the serious problem they have, they are instead directed to diet centers and health spas. Like anorexia and bulimia, compulsive overeating is a serious problem and can result in death. With the proper treatment, which should include therapy, medical and nutritional counseling, it can be overcome.


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Default 01-23-2007, 06:00 PM

I'm thin and skip lunch every day. The kids at school say I have an eating disorder >_< I'm always like, "You should see me when I'm at home..." I pig out at home, just eating at school freaks me out because I hate eating in front of cute boys. LOL Who needs lunch anyways? To me, it's the least important meal.
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Default 01-23-2007, 08:14 PM

Thanks for posting this Miranda. A lot of girls today suffer from mild forms of such disorders(I'll admit, I myself was one of them in middle school). It truly a difficult thing to cope with and its very difficult to "cure" since it takes the person saying they have a problem. Even once they fix it, the experience stays. I know that I've always been concerned about my weight(for reasons stated above, no control at all in my life and I was constantly called fat and still am.) No matter how hard I try, I can't usually convince myself that I don't have a problem with my weight... *les sighs*


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Default 01-24-2007, 02:24 AM

Thanks for posting this, it's really informative. =3



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Default 01-25-2007, 02:33 PM

I suffered from compulsive eating disorder while at school; it's as common as anorexia, but is rarely recognised as an eating disorder the way anorexia is. It took me a long time to recover from it, including losing all the weight with a normal healthy diet and exercise.


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Default 01-25-2007, 06:03 PM

Which would the following situation fall under...eating a large ammount of food for a day/two then not eating (or eating very little). Normal for teens or an eating disorder?


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Default 01-25-2007, 08:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarika2004 View Post
Which would the following situation fall under...eating a large ammount of food for a day/two then not eating (or eating very little). Normal for teens or an eating disorder?
I suppose it depends on the teen. If the days without eating are done to lose weight after binging, I'd say yes.


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Default 01-26-2007, 07:06 AM

Sounds like compulsive eating disorder if it's like Kitty says. I used to do that; I'd go on starvation diets to try to lose weight, ultimately give up, then binge again. Then I'd hate myself, and cut myself to punish myself for giving up. It sounds like the early stages if the teen hasn't gained much weight yet, so could be nipped in the bud.


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Default 01-26-2007, 01:49 PM

I think I might have been anorexic when I was in grade 2 or 3. I thought I was fat.. I have no idea where I got the idea from because everyone was calling me skinny. After I heard on t.v. that you could die if you lose to much weight, it kinda scared me into eating because I didn't (and still don't want to) die.
I'm glad I started eating more, there is someone who lives on my street who was anorexic, she shrunk in height as well as size. Now she can barely eat half a burger.

What does the word Binge mean? I read Miranda_'s post on eating disorders twice but I couldn't quite figure it out.
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Default 01-26-2007, 01:56 PM

Means you eat loads of food at one sitting; if you're a binge eater, you'd stuff yourself with random food, like 5 loaves of bread, til you're uncomfortably full. If you're a compulsive eater, you'd eat food you liked, but still too much. I once sat down and ate 3 Big Macs and a whole chocolate cake in one go; I couldn't even manage one Big Mac today.


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