Eating disorders refer to behavioural conditions characterised by persistent and severe disruption in our eating behaviours and related disturbing emotions and thoughts.  Eating disorders can be very grave and can affect our psychological, social and physical function. Persons with eating disorders will have a range of symptoms. The most common symptoms are food binges, severe food restriction, and purging behaviours such as over-exercising and vomiting. Any person at any stage in life and any gender can be affected by eating disorders. However, they are most common among young women and adolescents. It also is essential to ensure we have health insurance. This helps each time we visit a hospital for a check-up or while ill. We don’t have to pay; instead, the insurance will have you covered. Ensure that you get your health insurance cover from a reputable health insurance company. Visit online review sites such as Britainreviews.co.uk to see reviews related to private health insurance UK services. Only choose the positively reviewed companies. This way, you’ll get a reliable health insurance company. Two of the most common eating disorders are discussed in this article.

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Bulimia nervosa

This is an eating disorder that primarily develops in early adulthood and adolescence and is more common among women than men. It is characterised by consuming extraordinarily vast amounts of foods within a specific period. The episodes of binge eating typically continue till an individual is painfully full. During the binge eating period, a person cannot control the amount they are eating and cannot stop eating. Binges can occur with any food type, but most commonly, they happen with foods that a person mostly avoids. Persons with bulimia will then try to purge to compensate for the consumed calories and relieve the gut’s discomfort. Some of the common behaviours of purging include fasting diuretics, laxative, excessive exercises and forced vomiting. Persons having Bulimia nervosa tend to maintain a relatively average weight and do not become underweight. Common Bulimia nervosa symptoms include:

  • Self-esteem is excessively influenced by body weight and shape.
  • Recurrent binge eating episodes with feelings of lack of control
  • Despite one having average weight, they have a fear of feeling like they’ve gained weight
  • Recurrent incidents of unsuitable purging behaviour which averts weight gain.

Bulimia nervosa has various side effects: a sore and inflamed throat, worn tooth enamel, salivary gland, acid reflux, tooth decay, severe dehydration, irritation of the gut, and hormonal instabilities.

Severe Bulimia nervosa cases can cause imbalanced electrolytes such as calcium, sodium, and potassium, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.

Anorexia nervosa

This is one of the most known eating disorder. It is common among young adults and adolescents. It affects women more. Generally, individuals with Anorexia nervosa see themselves as overweight, even when they are seriously underweight. Thus, they constantly monitor their weight, strictly restrict their calories consumption, and avoid specific food types. Anorexia nervosa common symptoms include:

  • Eating patterns that are restricted
  • When compared with people of the same weight and age, one is extensively underweight
  • Having a body image that is distorted, together with denying that one is exceptionally underweight
  • Having a powerful fear of gaining weight or insistent behaviours aimed at avoiding the gaining of weight even when one is underweight
  • Being greatly influenced by one’s body weight and having a great perception of one’s body leading to self-esteem issues.

Anorexia nervosa also has Obsessive-compulsive symptoms. For example, you’ll find individuals with this disorder often preoccupied with food, and some will obsessively collect hoard food or recipes. Persons with Obsessive-compulsive symptoms will also have problems while eating in public and tend to control their environment. There are two main subtypes of Anorexia, the binge eating &purging type and the restricting type. Persons having the binge eating & purging type tend to eat very little or binge on vast amounts of food.

On the other hand, those with the restrictive type tend to fast, excessively exercise, and use dieting to lose weight. In both types, after eating, the individuals purge using excessive exercise, vomiting, or taking laxatives. Anorexia can have damaging effects on the body. With time persons with Anorexia may experience infertility, thinning of their bodies, growing of a fine hair layer all through their body and brittle nails and hair. In severe instances, Anorexia can cause multiple organ, brain and heart failure and even death.

In conclusion, we should be cautious with our eating habits. We should always aim at developing positive eating habits, and this way, we will avoid the above eating disorders and other long term adverse effects that they may cause on our bodies.

Common eating disorders