We live in a strange world. It seems that everyone has to be skinny to be beautiful. And the constant popping up of new trendy diets (usually bad diets) almost every week that promises you'll lose weight fast, it might seem anyone can lose weight quickly and without much efforts. The problem with these diets is that they tend to be ineffective and they might even be dangerous for your health, both on short and long term.
There are many products in the market, and many marketing campaigns designed exactly to convince you to give these products and diets a try. From diet pills, juice cleanses, lists of good foods vs. bad foods for weight loss, to supplements that replace or boost natural ingredients. And what may simply start as a way to lose just a few pounds, it may quickly turn out into an eating disorder.
Eating disorders are very serious and can, in some cases, even cause death. They cause severe problems to your eating behaviors and they need to be treated.
Eating disorders are more commonly developed during teenage and young adult years, and they are more common among girls and women. Although no one knows exactly what causes them, researchers believe it's a mix of behavioral, biological, psychological, genetic, and social factors. They also usually coexist with depression, trouble coping with emotions, anxiety, low self-esteem and substance abuse.
There are some signs and symptoms people experience when they have an eating disorder:
* Continue with a strict diet even when they are already underweight;
* If someone keeps gaining and losing weight, constantly;
* When someone is obsessed with calorie counting;
* Some people just cut their food into tiny little pieces and avoid eating when they are with others. This might be another sign of an eating disorder;
* If they try to avoid family and friends; they just tend to become isolated;
* When people are depressed.
This might help you find out if someone you know has this problem and helping him/her look for a treatment.
When you hear about eating disorders, there are mainly three that are referred: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
* Anorexia Nervosa:
When someone has anorexia nervosa, they usually see themselves as overweight, even if they are under-weight. You can identify this mental illness if you notice the person just keeps weighting, eat a small amount of food and are very pick with certain foods.
Anorexia nervosa can cause menstruation to stop, loss of skin integrity, bone loss, and even increases the heart problems risk. It has the highest mortality rate amid all mental disorders and it's not only because of complications associated with starvation. On extreme situations anorexia can be the cause that leads to suicide.
* Bulimia Nervosa:
When someone has bulimia nervosa, they usually eat a lot of food, and just can't help themselves. After that, they feel so guilty about what they've done and just force vomiting. Others even go further: they practice too much exercise, take diuretics and laxatives, or a combination of both.
The problem in recognizing someone suffers from bulimia nervosa is that these people usually maintain their weight. So, unless you are around them for long periods during the day, you might not even be aware they have this problem.
* Binge Eating Disorder:
Binge eating disorder is related with bulimia nervosa. The difference is that when someone suffers from binge eating, they just eat without having any control. But they won't vomit or take any medicine after it. So, they are usually obese or over-weight.