Dangers of Eating Disorders

An eating disorder, whether the individual overeats or one where they don’t eat enough, can place a serious biological or psychological strain on a person. Serious complications can arise from an eating disorder, with health issues, growth problems, and even death all attributed to the disease. While most sufferers don’t exhibit these symptoms, even mild eating disorders can have a noticeable effect on a person. Let’s take a look at some of these less critical, but still problematic dangers of eating disorders.

Body Health

Whichever way you look at it, an eating disorder is going to have an effect on a person’s body. Humans have developed rhythms of eating over time for one reason: because they work. Our built in eating habits keep us energized and healthy, and anything that disturbs those rhythms is going to have an impact. For overeaters, those with an eating addiction, this means their body is consuming more than it needs. That extra food has to go somewhere, resulting in health issues. On the opposite end of the spectrum are people who don’t eat enough. These individuals risk not getting enough of the vitamins and nutrients they need, any one of which can throw off a person’s status quo. For example, a person who isn’t getting enough Vitamin C in their food or supplements will have a weakened immune system, make them more susceptible to illnesses and slower to fight infection. More important is Vitamin D, which helps keep our hearts healthy. In this case, a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to significant health problems. Whatever Vitamin it is, an eating disorder can compromise your intake. If you do have an eating disorder, it’s important you take vitamin supplements until you’re able to correct the underlying issues that cause the eating issue.

Energy

There’s no other way to say it: if you’re struggling with an eating disorder, it’s unlikely you’re going to have the energy to be at your very best. Whether it’s tiredness, irritability, or even depression, you’re going to be stuck driving in the wrong lane, with the other passions in your life laying by the wayside. With an eating disorder, it’s unlikely you’ll have the capacity to achieve all the greatness that always lies deep inside of you. In other words, the eating disorder has to go, eventually. Of course, you’ll need help to overcome your problem, but even just recognizing the problem can sometimes be the kick start you need to get better. Once you know you’re in the wrong lane, you’ll have the motivation to get back on track - even if your body needs time to catch up with your mind.

Social Anxiety and Depression

An eating disorder can place a terrific mental burden on an individual. While others may fail to notice anything is wrong, you’ll likely be thinking about it on a near-constant basis. If you live with this stress for more than a couple of months, you’ll be placing yourself at a strong risk of depression. Other complications, such as social anxiety and relationship strains, may also be present. This is especially tough for you as while other people with stress can be recognised as such, you’ll likely be keeping yours a secret, which is an added stress in itself. This can lead to sexual problems, social anxiety, and feelings of depression and suicide ideation. To help relieve your symptoms, consider talking to a parent, close friend, or teacher about what you’re going through. They won’t be able to magically fix your problem, but they will be able to help you in some way.

An eating disorder is usually indicative of a larger problem, but the first concern has to be your health and well-being. If you’re struggling to control your eating disorder, seek help as soon as you can. The main problems you’ll have will likely be related to malnutrition, and not getting the crucial vitamins and nutrients you need as part of a balanced diet. Once you’re on the mend and getting better, you’ll see that the symptoms of your illness begin to subside. The good news about eating disorders is that, while some people do occasionally suffer lasting damages, most side effects are temporary and rectified once the individual begins eating properly again.


Written by Melissa Phillipson

Citations

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anorexia-nervosa/Pages/Complications.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/features/eating-disorders

http://www.kwikmed.org/vitamin-d-deficiency/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-food-is-family/201209/eating-disorders-and-social-anxiety

http://www.livescience.com/51827-vitamin-c.html

http://www.studentminds.org.uk/exercise-and-energy.html


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