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What are eating disorders?

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are psychological conditions that are related to unhealthy eating habits which affect the general condition of the body; it's very common among adolescents and young women. In severe untreated cases, eating disorders cause serious health issues and may lead to death.

The etiological cause of eating disorders is usually associated with obsession towards food or body shape, also emotional state (sadness, anger… etc.) plays an important role in eating disorders.

There are many forms for eating disorders; the most common main forms include the following two types:

  • Bulimia nervosa: it's a psychological condition in which the patient is driven to eat large amount of food, followed by a sense of guilt after eating. So the patient tries to vomit or use purgatives to empty the food from his stomach. After that, the episode "overeating, feeling guilt, vomiting trials" occurs repeatedly in a vicious circle.
  • Anorexia nervosa: it usually affects young women who are obsessed with body shape and agility. They refuse to eat, for fear of weight gain, leading to many serious health issues such as hypotension and hypoglycemia. Finally, long-term starvation could lead to death.

Management of eating disorders depends mainly on behavioral psychotherapy, which includes correction of the patient's misconceptions about foods, eating habits and body shape. Also antidepressants and supplementation are necessary as therapeutic tools to promote recovery.


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