Binge eating disorder

7 July 2016

Hello everyone. My name is Ruth and I want to talk to you guys about eating disorders. An eating disorder is essentially an illness that disrupts a person’s every day diet which can cause a person to pretty much stop eating or over eat, depending on the illness. These illnesses are more apparent in the teenage years and in to young adulthood (Pinel, 2011), which makes sense because this is when we start becoming more aware of our bodies as well as other people’s bodies.

We might want to look like the model we just saw on TV and will do anything to get that body, right? But an eating disorder is not the way to go; we will get in to the effects of eating disorders here in a few minutes, but let us start with the types of disorders. Most people think that the only kinds of eating of eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia, but that is not the case – you do not have to be stick thin to have an eating disorder.

There is anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and the one that people do not think about it called binge-eating disorder. Each of these are extremely detrimental to one’s physical and psychological health. So, let us talk about some symptoms of these disorders and see if any of them sound familiar. Anorexia nervosa is probably the most common and is characterized by an emaciated figure and an extremely restricted eating.

There is an obsession with being thin and having thin role models and a total unwillingness to get to and keep a healthy weight. Along with that, there is an extreme fear of gaining weight as well (Pinel, 2011). With this fear comes self-esteem issues, a distorted body image – I bet there are a lot of you in here that think that you have weight to lose but the truth is, you do not. You are not seeing that you are dangerously thin even though you clearly are but we are going to help you get back to being physically and mentally healthy.

When you are not getting adequate nutrition because of eating little to no food, women and young girls will no longer have their menstrual cycles because the body is too weak. Being obsessed with weight, people with anorexia nervosa tend to weigh themselves repeatedly, portion food and eat very small quantities are certain foods – no fats, no carbs, no sugars (Pinel, 2011). Just like with drugs, some people get better after one bout of anorexia nervosa, while some relapse and some, unfortunately, lose the battle as their health declines.

Now, here is some of the scarier stuff that happens to our bodies with anorexia nervosa. Your bones thin, which is called osteoporosis); your hair and nails become brittle; your skin becomes dry and yellow because your liver stops functioning correctly. A condition called lanugo starts which is when thin, fine hair starts to grow all over the body; you become anemic and your muscles become weak and start wasting away; you becoming severely constipated as well as develop multi-organ failure.

You get low blood pressure as well as slow breathing and pulse; brain damage and damage to the structure and function of the heart occurs, including heart disease and heart attacks; your internal body temperature drops which causes you to be cold all of the time and you start to feel very lethargic and tired all of the time. Lastly, if your condition continues, you can become infertile but you need to be at a healthy weight to be able to carry a baby anyway. Do these symptoms sound fun to anyone? You group a couple of these together, and you could lose your life.

Is it worth it? Up next, bulimia nervosa is characterized by frequently recurring episodes of binge eating with a loss of control of being able to stop. Following the binge eating is forced vomiting, excess use of laxatives, excessive exercise or a combination to get rid of the food because of the guilt that is felt from eating so much; this is often called binge-purge syndrome or binging and purging (Pinel, 2011). Believe it or not, people with bulimia nervosa often maintain what would be a healthy weight or even might be slightly overweight in some cases.

People with bulimia nervosa binge and purge for the same reason that people with anorexia nervosa do not eat: for a fear of gaining weight and being unhappy with their size and shape. This binge and purge cycle can happen anywhere from once or twice per week to a few times per day (Pinel, 2011). With bulimia nervosa, you have pretty much all of the side effects of anorexia nervosa plus a few more. You will have a chronic sore and inflamed throat because of the stomach acid coming up, as well as swollen salivary glands in the throat.

The enamel on your teeth will also wear down because of the stomach bile as well which will cause tooth decay and teeth that will easily break. You will develop acid reflux disorder as well as other gastrointestinal problems and intestinal pain and irritation from the use of laxatives. Severe dehydration will occur from purging all fluids as well as an electrolyte imbalance which can lead to a heart attack (Pinel, 2011). Stomach acid it incredibly damaging to esophagus and mouth so throwing that up is really bad.

I had gallbladder disease about a year ago and involuntarily throwing up twice or three times per day made my throat and teeth constantly hurting because of the stomach acid and I still suffer from acid reflux disorder. Binge-eating disorder is when a person loses control over his or her eating (Pinel, 2011). Binge-eating, however, does not involve the purging or any other way of getting rid of the food like bulimia nervosa. People with binge-eating disorder are often over-weight or obese because they are not getting rid of or working off the food that they just consumed.

Just like anyone else that is obese, people with binge-eating disorder are at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure, as well as diabetes, high cholesterol as well as self-esteem issues and psychological issues such as depression (Pinel, 2011). Lindsay, obesity can be caused by genetics but it is also due to a combination of genetics and environment (Pinel, 2011). Genes can control appetite and metabolism but it also depends on what kind of food and how much food you are putting in to your body.

Robert, to answer your question, you and your girlfriend are two different people. Your metabolisms work at different rates and maybe she gets more exercise than you. I have a friend that is constantly eating and she is tiny and if I ate half as much food as her, I would gain weight instantly – we are all different. Nancy, maybe you have gotten yourself in to a mental state that, because you want to look like those girls in the magazines, you do not crave food. This is why you have to get in to a routine of eating small meals.

If you are still not craving food, go for a run and work up an appetite and then eat. Tyra, maybe when you try to eat, you are eating foods that are too rich. Because you are not eating very much very often, you have to start yourself off with relatively bland foods. If you start off with something too spicy, too fatty or just plain old too heavy, you will feel nauseous. Thank you for your time. I hope to work with each and every single one of you to get you guys back on track.

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