Every living thing depends on food for survival. Without eating not only will a person be weak and unable to perform optimally but he will die because there will be deficiency in the nutrients that the body needs to continue performing optimally. Feeding is a vital part of every living thing since foods also help in protecting the body against disease causing pathogens. Certain foods are very good at immune building and so through feeding the body is nourished and protected.
However there are also eating disorders that may cause you more harm than benefits. To begin with let’s define what pathological eating disorders are and possibly get some examples of the most common pathological eating disorders.
Eating disorders are illnesses that are caused by abnormal eating. In most cases it has to do with the amount of food taken by an individual. When a [person takes to little food that is insufficient to the needs of the body he will suffer consequences that over a time may become a full blown eating disorder. Eating too much food will also result in certain eating disorders. Eating disorders harms not only the physical health but also the mental health and therefore any eating disorder must be attended to curb its severe effects. Examples of eating disorders include:
Bulimia nervosa– it is normal to turn to food when feeling hungry, lonely, bored, or stressed. However with bulimia, overeating is more like a compulsion and a person feels out of control. When a person suffers from this eating disorder he will not eat merely to get satisfied but he will punish himself by purging, fasting, or exercising to get rid of the calories. The danger of purging and binging is that it affects the body and the emotional well-being of an individual. A person suffering from bulimia will need treatment so as to be able to overcome the feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety by developing good relationship with food.
A person struggling with bulimia is constantly in conflict with himself as he homes the battle between the desire to lose weight and the uncontrollable compulsion to binge food. After eating a person will engage in any act that will undo overeating by running or inducing vomiting. This is the major cause anxiety in those struggling with this eating disorder.
It is normal to have a desire to put your weight under control. People especially ladies have the need to have lean bodies. However in some instances the need to control your weight may interfere with your eating habit. You will begin to restrict eating some foods and this may become habitual. You may restrict food to a point of starvation all in the need to lose weight and gain that lean body. This results in an eating disorder known as anorexia nervosa. A person suffering from this eating disorder has his thoughts dominated by the urge to lose weight and this may become an obsession.
This eating disorder is very dangerous as it affects all the facets of your life. You will not even know who you really are and that is a major cause of torment in anybody. A person who suffers from this eating disorder is constantly in fear of gaining weight as they believe it will interfere with their outlook. Mealtimes are always very stressful to those who are suffering from anorexia as what they always think about is what to limit so as to keep them lean.
Today pathological eating disorders and their related diseases have become a major health concern worldwide. Many people are suffering from these pathological eating disorders than malnutrition. In fact some experts have purported that obesity which is a disease related to eating disorders has become the major health problem in the world replacing heart disease and cancer.
This thought is echoed by the World Health Organization which in June, 2005 stated that “obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight – at least 300 million of them clinically obese – and is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability. Often coexisting in developing countries with under-nutrition, obesity is a complex condition, with serious social and psychological dimensions, affecting virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups.”
Another body that has shown concern on the contribution of pathological eating disorders in poor health in people is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which in June, 2005 reported that “during the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. This claim was backed up by the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics which showed that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people are obese. The pathological eating disorders and their consequential diseases do not affect the adults only but affect people of all ages. Today the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.
Poly-behavioral addiction would be described as a state of periodic or chronic physical, mental, emotional, cultural, sexual and/ or spiritual/ religious intoxication. Pathological eating disorders are valid cause of poly-behavioral addiction just like any other substance of abuse. Therefore a person suffering from any form of eating disorders should seek help before it results into a bigger problem like obesity and other related diseases.
Here at AWAREmed we are dedicated to avail help to all those who may be suffering from pathological eating disorders. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert in integrative treatment and will be willing as always to avail help to all those in need.